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Ethiopian Airlines inaugurates new flight to Seoul


09:01, June 19, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian Airlines, one of the fastest growing airliners in Africa, on Tuesday launched its new destination to Seoul, South Korea.

The inaugural flight to Seoul coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and South Korea.

The Ethiopian Airlines made the inaugural flight with Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Incheon International Airport in Seoul. Senior government officials, diplomats, members of the business community and an Ethiopian cultural troupe are on board.

Joint high profile events such as government, business, trade, tourism, cultural and academic forums highlighting the great potential of the relations between the two countries are scheduled to take place in Seoul on June 19-21, said a statement from the Ethiopian Airlines.

Speaking at the Ethiopian Airlines headquarters, Driba Kuma, minister of transport, noted that the launching of the new destination is a landmark event as it falls at a historical time when the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

Esayas Woldemariam, chief commercial officer of the Ethiopian Airlines, said Seoul will be the 73rd international destination of the carrier.

Esayas told Xinhua that the launch of the Seoul destination would bring more benefits to Ethiopia and Africa at large as South Korea is one of the fastest economies in the world and as the country is known for its tourists.

He said the Ethiopian would make four flights a week to Seoul.

The officer also revealed that the flag carrier would open a new route to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil starting on July 1.

"And coming September, we are going to Singapore; and then we are going to expand to Manila of the Philippines, Saigon of Vietnam," he added.

Kim Jong Geun, South Korean ambassador to Ethiopia, said the launch of the new destination by Ethiopian to Seoul would strengthen relations and support business activities between his country and Ethiopia, as well as the African continent.

The Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement that as of June 18, Seoul will be connected to dozens of cities in Africa via Ethiopian main hub in Addis Ababa, such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos, Accra and Dar es Salaam.

The inclusion of Seoul into Ethiopian network is part of Ethiopian Vision 2025 of connecting Africa with the major world economic and financial hubs, said the Ethiopian Airlines.

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