Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has launched three times of weekly flights to Chengdu, China as of May 22.
Ethiopian is the first African carrier to fly non-stop from Addis Ababa to Chengdu.
Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, is the 7th largest city in China. It is the country's western center of logistics, commerce, science and technology, as well as a hub of transportation, manufacturing and communication.
It is hoped the new route will boost trade relations between China and Africa. It’s also seen as an important instrument for the Belt and Road initiative to succeed in Africa, according to cgtn.
Chengdu is also a major hub for Air China, Ethiopian Airlines’ Star Alliance partner. With the new flights underway, passengers from Ethiopia's vast and growing network in Africa will be able to quickly connect to dozens of cities in China partnership with Air China, including Shenzhen, Kunming, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan, Changsha, and Urumqi.
Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “We are glad to launch services to Chengdu, our fifth gateway to China. Since our first flight 43 years ago, China has been a key market and it is now the largest per country market in our system.