Air Peace, Ethiopian Airlines to restore direct flights to China
All things being equal, Nigerian flag carrier, Air Peace, and Ethiopian Airlines are due to restore direct commercial flight services on Chinese routes after about a three-year break.
While the leading carrier in Africa, Ethiopian Airline (ET), has scheduled full-scale services for February 6, its Nigerian counterpart is sorting out preparations for flights into the foremost global manufacturing hub.
After three years of self-imposed isolation, China, this week, lifted pandemic restrictions on foreign travels, though with cautious optimism globally, over another wave of “least understood” infections in parts of China. The arrival of international flights from Mainland China has reactivated COVID-19 travel protocols in Europe and over 20 countries.
Not unmindful of safety concerns, The Guardian learnt that Air Peace has begun arrangements to restore its Lagos-Guangzhou flight services and due to announce take-off date soon.
ET said that the frequency of its flights to Chinese cities would increase by February 6.
“We are glad that we are ramping up the frequencies of our flights to Chinese cities, thanks to the easing of flight restrictions by the Government of China,” said Ethiopian Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew.
Tasew reiterated that China is one of the largest markets for Ethiopian Airlines outside Africa, and the increase in flight frequencies would help revive the trade, investment, cultural and bilateral cooperation between Africa and China in the post-COVID era.
“Thanks to our large network across Africa, the increase in the number of flights to Chinese cities will bring Africa and China closer. We are keen to further expand our service to China going forward,” Tasew said.
Ethiopian Airlines will operate daily flights to Guangzhou while increasing its weekly flights to Beijing and Shanghai to four each and maintain the thrice weekly operation to Chengdu.
Starting from March 1, the flights will surge back to the pre-COVID-19 levels with daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai as well as 10 and four weekly flights to Guangzhou and Chengdu respectively.
Accordingly, Ethiopian will operate a total of 28 weekly passenger flights to China when the services are fully restored.
In addition to its passenger flights to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, Ethiopian is also operating freighter flights to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Changsha and Wuhan.