A photo taken on October 12, 2017 shows the Ethiopian Airlines plane at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. (Xinhua / Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA, November 10 (Xinhua) – Ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines (ET) flagship assistant has launched a three-hour weekly direct passenger flight between Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Somalia capital, Mogadishu, after 41 breaks, adding momentum to increase bilateral economic relations.
A direct flight between Ethiopia and Somalia was suspended soon after the 1977-78 margin war between the two countries ended.
Launching commercial trips between Ethiopia and Somalia also found wider optimism in the Horn of Africa region and came after the Ethiopian Prime Minister. Abiy Ahmed visited Somalia in June, to boost political and economic relations between the two countries.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Abdullahi Mohammed Warfa, deputy head of Mission embassy in Somalia to Ethiopia, said the resumption of a flight would help connect Somali's big diaspora to his native homeland.
"We would like to ask Ethiopia to continue to support one hand and continue to connect our people in Mogadishu and the rest of Somalia, connecting them to other destinations in the world," said Warfa.
Warfa also said that he had a personal reason to celebrate the resumption of direct flight between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu, as the new air route significantly reduced the air time that he had to continue to travel between the two cities.
"When I came to Addis Ababa from Mogadishu, I used to go through the city of Nairobi or Djibouti or other places to come to Addis Ababa," he said.
"It took four to five hours to come to Addis Ababa, but now it's made easy and I'll go less than two hours, thanks to you, Ethiopian Airlines."
Warfa optimism was shared by Ali Adem Mohammed, Deputy Chair of the Somalia community in Ethiopia, who said he hoped that cargo flights will be added soon, adding to the already launched passenger trips.
"This journey will further deepen the relationship between Ethiopians and Somalians, I hope that the next step ET will start cargo flights on top of passenger passengers," said Mohammed.
Chief Executive of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Tewolde GebreMariam, for his part emphasized the historic nature of the resumption of flying between Addis Ababa-Mogadishu and its potential economic potential.
"Today, there's a great day to start a direct flight between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu after 40 years, today is a historic day. There is a lack of adequate air connection challenged by trade, investment and tourism links between Ethiopia and Somalia , "he said.
"The resumption of air services will promote the promotion of tourism, trade relations and investment between Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as promoting cross border investment and relationships between people and people," he said further.
GebreMariam told Xinhua that Ethiopian Airlines also planned to launch flights to Mogadishu, with an eye to facilitate the exports of Somalia's seafood to the rest of the world, especially China.
"We have seen how the seafood exports of those who like Madagascar and Comoros through our Addis Ababa International Airport to China have boosted their economies, Somalia will join this scheme in soon, "he said further.
Already, Ethiopia Airlines launched in October a freelance service of Norwegian capital Oslo to Guangzhou in southern China, transporting Chinese Chinese twice-weekly seafood products to Chinese customers.