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EEthiopian Airlines touched down at Cape Town International earlier this month in an inaugural flight that signified the commencement of a new direct service linking Addis Ababa with Cape Town. A vibrant welcoming ceremony celebrated the arrival of the aircraft and incorporated the traditional water cannon salute that marks the maiden voyage of a new route.
The Ethiopia-Cape Town route will operate six times a week. Flights will depart Addis Ababa on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 09:30, and arrive in Cape Town at 17:30. Returning flights will depart from Addis Ababa every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings at 23:30 and arrive in Cape Town at 07:50 the following morning.
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris welcomed the launch of the new route, stating that the Cape Town city region has the potential to become an economic hub for Africa, but “that this relied on building on connectivity with the rest of the continent.”
As part of the airline’s long-term plan to ‘connect Africa’ and promote social and economic integration on the continent by opening up vital travel linkages, Ethiopian also launched a thrice-weekly direct flight to Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone, on the same day as the Cape route launch. The new routes will offer passengers greater choice and flexibility – and also facilitate key trade, investment and tourism ties between Ethiopia and these two countries. Cape Town and Gaborone will be the airline’s 50th and 51st African destination respectively.
Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said the introduction of Ethiopian Airlines’ direct flights to Cape Town reflected the airline’s confidence in the city as a world-class business and leisure destination. “New routes to Africa are a focus of our air access strategy; one that outlines the benefits of establishing further direct routes between Cape Town and strategic destinations,” he commented. “Improved access is linked to increased jobs and growth in our tourism and conferencing industry,” he said.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam stated, “As a Pan-African airline working to bring African countries closer, as well as closer to the rest of the world, we are very pleased to spread our wings to Cape Town and Gaborone. Our new flights will give Ethiopian’s customers more and convenient connectivity options when traveling within and to/from the continent,” adding, “We will continue to expand our reach in our home market of Africa, with a view to support to the continent’s socio-economic integration and development.”