Ethiopian Airlines expanding to meet China-Africa demand

The Ethiopian Airlines Group is deploying more capacity to meet the demand arising from the robust trade, investment and tourism relations between China and Africa.

"The trade, investment and tourism relations are among the fastest in the world. We have positioned our service in the middle of this growth and we predict more than 20 percent growth between China and Africa every year in the coming years," said Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of the group, adding most of the planes the airline has ordered will be deployed in China.

The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation "is giving us more energy and initiative to expand further because the Beijing Declaration is very important for us in the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government," GebreMariam told reporters during the 24th World Route Development Forum, which opened in Guangzhou on Monday.

Ethiopian Airlines is flying to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chengdu.

"These flights are all full. We are looking for more capacity, more frequency," he said, adding the airline plans to add Chongqing, Zhengzhou and Shenzhen to its network.

It will launch a cargo route between Norway’s Oslo and Guangzhou. "We are promoting Chinese exports not only to Africa but also South America and Europe," he said.

Ethiopian Airlines launched its flights to Guangzhou 16 years ago. It is flying 10 passenger flights and five cargo flights per week, running a call center, a purchasing office and a cargo hub office in the city.

"We have invested for a long period of time to develop Guangzhou as an important trade and investment link with African countries. The investment is paying back."

"Guangdong government is actively promoting aviation in the province by making Guangzhou an important aviation hub not only for China, but also for Asia-Pacific," GebreMariam said.