Shanghai becomes Ethiopian’s fourth China destination

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Addis Ababa, 6 April 2014 (WIC) - A week into the new route from Addis Ababa to Shanghai, launched on the 29th of March, and the mood in the corporate headquarters is buoyant to say the least about Ethiopian Airlines’ latest destination.

Using a B787 Dreamliner for the flight, which offers 24 seats in business class and 246 seats in economy class, the new service opens up the African continent for travelers from Shanghai which is often described as the Dubai of the Far East.

Last year was Ethiopian Airlines voted by Chinese travelers as the ‘Best business class airline in Africa’ while the Africa Airline Association, in short AFRAA, during their General Assembly last November in Mombasa announced that ET had been voted as ‘Best airline in Africa’ by their peers.

In a media release was Ethiopian’s CEO Tewolde Gebremariam quoted to have said on the occasion of the launch of flights to Shanghai: ‘Shanghai is the economic and financial hub of a booming Chinese economy and our direct flights will promote increased mobility of people and goods, which is critically important for the socio economic development of an expanding society’.

Ethiopian has been operating flights from Addis Ababa to China for the last 41 years, having started a service to Beijing back in 1973. The airline was the African launch customer for Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner, is a member of the world’s leading ‘Star Alliance’ and is arguable Africa’s leading airline.

According to Wolfgang,  Neighbours Kenya Airways though, which received their first B787 Dreamliner yesterday as Africa’s second airline to fly this state of the art aircraft, will later this year also launch flights to Shanghai and to Beijing, a move which is seen to reflect the potential of the Chinese market for travel to Africa and for the appeal China now has as a major trading partner for passengers from Africa to China.