After 27 years, Ethiopian Airlines reopens Moscow route
Ethiopia’s national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) launched services to Moscow, Russia from 18 December 2018 after a gap of 27 years. "Moscow is a vital addition to our European service, a very important region. It's going to take our total number of weekly flights to European destinations to reach 54 passenger flights a week," said the carrier's executive director Tewolde Gebremariam as the first flight took off from Addis Ababa. “Our direct flights will also promote Ethiopian and other African Tourist attractions to the Russian tourists. Russia will be the final BRICS country in our ever growing global network,” Tewolde added. Russian ambassador to Ethiopia Vsevolod I. Tkachenko welcomed the move. "I’m happy Ethiopian Airlines made a bold decision to re-start such flights because it will not only provide passenger flow, but also connect Russians with Ethiopian Airlines air services' global network" he told AFP. The carrier will fly 3 times a week to the Russian capital. As of December, Ethiopian connected Moscow with 59 cities in Africa, with thrice a week flights. It will help to facilitate better trade, investment and tourism relations between the two regions.Ethiopian Airlines which is 100 percent state-owned, is Africa's largest carrier. Addis Ababa airport has recently undergone a large-scale revamp as a major continental aviation hub in a country run until 1991 by a communist military junta -- a regime which received substantial Soviet support in the 1970s and 80s. Earlier this year saw a wing of a new $345 million passenger terminal at the airport, which is one of Africa's busiest. After the fall of the Soviet Union, ties between the two nations slid. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Ethiopia last March and cooperation in several sectors, nuclear power included, have been discussed.