11 July 2018

Eritrea: First Addis to Asmara Flight Fully Booked

Photo: Nation Media Group
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest carrier, is 100% owned by the Ethiopian Government, which now plans to sell a stake to outside investors.

The strong bonds that bind Eritreans with Ethiopians have been confirmed by the snapping up of all the tickets for the inaugural flight between the neighbours next Wednesday.

Tickets for the Addis Ababa to Asmara flight by the Ethiopian Airlines sold out in a couple of hours after being put on sale, source confirmed.

The flight was scheduled after Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a normalisation of relations and peace agreement in Asmara on Sunday.

Family members divided due to the two decades border war and other travellers wishing to visit the old colonial city of Asmara were delighted to purchase the tickets.

Several families

Eritrea, once a province of Ethiopia, gained independence in 1991 after 30 years of war.

The two countries fought another border war from 1998-2000, which caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people and left several families separated for the last 20 years.

More than 70,000 Eritreans were deported from Ethiopia on the eve of the war, while Eritrea also expelled 45,000 Ethiopians in late 1990s.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki inked an agreement to end the war and resume diplomatic ties and trade.

Reform agenda

As part of normalisation of relations, the Ethiopian Airlines seized the opportunity to inaugurate the Addis Ababa - Asmara route.

The airline also announced a plan to purchase 20 per cent of a less known and smaller Eritrean Airlines.

Telecommunication services have also been restored between the former foes.

Mr Abiy has since taking office in April, pursued an ambitious reform agenda that has reversed some of the defining policies of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

He has released prominent dissidents from jail and also announced the partial liberalisation of the economy.

However, some have raised concerns that the pace of Mr Abiy's reforms may upset some party hardliners.

Eritrea

Seminar for Eritrean Nationals in Sudan

Mr. Ibrahim Idris, Charge d'Affairs at the Eritrean Embassy in Sudan organized seminar for Eritrean nationals residing… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The East African. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.