Ethiopian Airlines to buy 20pc stake in Eritrean Air - The East African

Ethiopian Airlines to buy 20pc stake in Eritrean Air

Tuesday July 17 2018

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. The airline is set to resume flights to Eritrea’s capital Asmara on July 17, 2018 for the first time in 20 years. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

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The Ethiopian Airlines is set to acquire a significant stake in the Eritrean flag carrier, a government official has said.

"Ethiopian Airlines to purchase 20 per cent of Eritrean Air," tweeted Ethiopia's Communication Minister Ahmed Shide on Tuesday.

Ethiopia has also reactivated its bilateral air services agreement with Eritrea that will allow its national airline fly over its neighbour's airspace and save on fuel costs.

The announcement comes as Africa's biggest airline resumes flights from Addis Ababa to Asmara on Wednesday after a hiatus of 20 years.

Last week, Ethiopian Airlines said tickets sold out in just hours, a day after the leaders of the two neighbours and longtime foes declared their “state of war” over.

“We agreed that the airlines will start operating, ports will be accessible, people can move between the two countries and the embassies will re-open,” said Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at a dinner with Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki to celebrate the end of the two-decade feud.

Bus operations between the two countries are also resuming with Mr Ahmed saying there will be four routes:
Addis Ababa – Adigrat – Zalambasa – Asmara; Addis Ababa - Mekelle – Adwa – Rama– Mereb – Asmara; Addis Ababa – Gonder – Humera – Asmara; Addis Ababa – Awash Arba – Decheto – Bure– Assab.

"These are the new routes [to be] used for buses to travel to Eritrea," he said on Tuesday.