Ethiopia’s national carrier will start flying to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on November 2 for the first time in four decades, the airline reported on Tuesday.
“Our flights will quickly grow to multiple daily flights given the huge volume of traffic between the two sisterly countries and the significant traffic between Somalia and the rest of the world,” Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, was quoted as saying by state broadcaster Fana.
Ethiopian Airlines stopped its route to Mogadishu in the 1970s, before stopping flights to Somalia entirely at the beginning of hostilities between Somalia and Ethiopia in1977-1978.
Somalia has been dogged by conflict for over three decades, prompting many airlines to stop flying to the country.
While announcing the imminent resumption of flight to Mogadishu, Gebremariam said the move would play a part in building better relations between Ethiopia and Somalia.
“The flights will play a significant role in strengthening the people-to-people and economic ties between the two neighborly and sisterly countries,” he said
“The flights will also enable the important Somali Diaspora in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa to travel to their homeland via Addis Ababa thanks to our global network of over 116 international destinations,” he added.