A landmark route into the heart of Africa has taken off, underlining Manchester Airport’s role in connecting the north of England to the world.
Ethiopian Airlines’ inaugural flight left the UK’s third largest airport 100 per cent full and will unlock more than 60 connections across Africa.
The four times a week service is set to benefit 400,000 people across the north who currently access Africa via other means.
A celebration to mark the first flight today was attended by Jeremy Lefroy, the prime minister’s trade envoy to Ethiopia, as well as hundreds of guests from across the region.
The new service has been welcomed by northern businesses and organisations who will benefit from reduced journey times, unlocking vital economic, trade and investment opportunities.
Lefroy said: “Ethiopia is a key partner as we look to expand our trading relationship with the wider African continent.
“This new flight route from Ethiopian Airlines will allow UK companies to build strong ties with their Ethiopian counterparts, increasing the accessibility and affordability of doing business for businesses in both countries.
Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to more destinations in Africa than any other carrier, will operate the ultramodern B-787 Dreamliner on the route with business and economy classes.
The service to Addis Ababa will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “We’re delighted to have Ethiopian Airlines launching its service to Addis Ababa.
“It will provide a vital route into Africa for businesses across the North, as well as helping attract visitors and potential investors to the region.
“This route highlights the important role Manchester Airport continues to play in connecting the North with key global markets.”
The flight will depart from Terminal Two at 18:05, arriving at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 06:45, providing significant onward connectivity options to the African continent.
Return flights depart Addis Ababa at 00:45 and arrive in to Manchester at 07:20 and have been scheduled to provide convenient connectivity with flights from the African continent in to Addis Ababa.