Ethiopian Airlines on Monday inaugurated flights to Istanbul - a major route for the largest airlines in Africa - that will take place three times a week.
After a fatal crash in March involving Boeing 737 Max 8 left all 158 passengers and crew dead, CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told Anadolu Agency (AA) at a ceremony that the accident has not affected t the carrier's operations.
"Istanbul is a global strategic hub for aviation in the world," Tewolde said, adding that Turkish investment in Africa amounted to a total of $6 billion, of which Ethiopia received $2.5 billion.
The new flights would "link more than 16 destinations in Africa with Turkey," he said, adding that all corners of Africa would be touched under this operation.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by Turkish Amb
assador to Ethiopia Yaprak Alp and the Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs Bertukan Awalew.
Alp for her part said the relations between Ethiopia and Turkey involved trade and investment. "This new flight to Istanbul will strengthen the people-to-people relations between the two countries," she said.
Ethiopian Airlines' Istanbul flight is its 19th destination in Europe and brings the carrier's total number of international destinations up to 120.
Another press conference on the occasion was held at a hotel in Atatürk Airport with Ethiopian Airlines Deputy General Manager Busera Awel, who confirmed that the Addis Ababa-Istanbul flights will soon be held on a daily basis.
Awel noted that as a Star Alliance member, Ethiopian Airlines will continue working with Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY).
"Ethiopian Airlines flies to 19 destinations in Europe and Turkish Airlines holds flights to more than 40 destinations on the African continent. We can expand our services with code-sharing agreements," Awel said.
THY currently flies to 55 cities in 37 African countries in Africa with the recent launch of flights to Gambian capital Banjul and Zambia's capital Lusaka.
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