Andrew Cowan (left) and Tewolde Gebremariam
Andrew Cowan (left) and Tewolde Gebremariam
Richard Bell

New African route with ‘vast investment and trade potential’ revealed at Manchester Airport

A new route into the heart of Africa is launching at Manchester Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines has this morning (May 14) confirmed plans for services between Manchester and Addis Ababa, capital of the East African nation.

Running four times a week, the route will unlock connections to over 58 countries across Africa for North West England.

Ethiopian will operate the flights with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Manchester Airport said the service will serve as a key trade route for Northern businesses, opening up new export opportunities and delivering cost and journey time savings to companies already trading there.

The first flight will take off on December 1 this year, initially transiting via Brussels.

Andrew Cowan, chief exec of Manchester Airport, said: “The introduction of this route underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting the people and businesses of the North to the world’s most important markets.

“While we have served a number of African holiday destinations for many years, this service will provide vital connectivity to one of the continent’s most important hub airports.”

He added: “That will unlock dozens more destinations across Africa through Ethiopian Airlines’ unrivalled network, meaning the North will be better connected to this part of the world than ever before.”

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam commented: “We are elated to start services to Manchester, our second destination in the UK next to London Heathrow, which we have been serving since 1973.

“The socio-economic implication of the new flight is immense. With vast investment and trade potentials between Africa and the UK, the upcoming flight holds the promise of boosting trade, investment and tourism with ample business opportunities for investors and business people from both regions.”

Sheona Southern, managing director of destination marketing organisation Marketing Manchester, praised the new route as a “great success for Greater Manchester and for the wider North” adding: “Greater Manchester’s growth strategy has internationalisation at its heart, and Manchester has set a clear target to become a top global city by 2035.

“If we’re to achieve this aim, it’s vital that we continue to increase our connections with major international hubs. In this respect, this new route with Ethiopian Airlines is a huge step forward.”

Liverpool-based power plant equipment supplier Clarke Energy is one company that expects to benefit from the new route.

Alex Marshall, group marketing and compliance director at Clarke Energy, said: “With our extensive operations across Africa, we are pleased to learn about this new flight to Addis Ababa from Manchester Airport, giving us extensive new route options across the continent.

“The route has the potential to be a massive benefit to our business through journey time savings and the excellent onward connectivity Ethiopian Airlines will provide.”

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