Ethiopian Airlines to Fly to Hangzhou

Ethiopian Airlines is to become the first African carrier to offer flights to the Chinese city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, a region famous for its picturesque scenery and rich history.  It will launch a five-times weekly service from Addis Ababa from May 1 using a Boeing 767-300ER.  The aircraft will make a stop at Delhi en route in both directions.  The Indian city was previously served as a stop on Ethiopian’s Addis Ababa – Beijing service but this is being upgraded to a non-stop service using a 777-200LR from the start of May. 

Hangzhou is a good alternative destination to Shanghai, only 45 minutes away by high-speed train, but also has strong links for business travellers and particularly traders as Yiwu, a famous commodities trading centre, is only (62 miles) 100km away.  Ethiopian has been serving the Chinese market since November 1973 and alongside its Beijing and new Hangzhou service offers links to Guangzhou and Hong Kong.  “This new operation to Hangzhou reinforces our commitment to the Chinese traveling public and the strong ties between China and Africa”, said Mr. Tewolde G Mariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines.

ROUTE ANALYSIS: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM HANGZHOU (weekly non-stop flights)

Airline

Destination

Flights

Seats

Air Macau

Macau International

10

1,612

AirAsia X

Kuala Lumpur International

7

1,358

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Osaka Kansai International

3

354

Tokyo Narita

4

664

Asiana Airlines

Busan Gimhae

2

286

Seoul Incheon

7

1,995

China Airlines

Seoul Incheon

7

1,148

Taipei Taoyuan

7

1,148

China Eastern Airlines

Hong Kong International

7

1,106

Dragonair

Hong Kong International

21

3,920

EVA Air

Taipei Taoyuan

7

2,272

Hainan Airlines

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi

3

510

Hong Kong Express Airlines

Hong Kong International

7

1,323

Jetstar Asia

Singapore Changi

4

720

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Amsterdam Schiphol

3

1,119

Mandarin Airlines

Kaoshiung International

3

939

Trans Asia Airways

Taipei Songshan

4

776

UNI Airways

Kaoshiung International

2

312

Xiamen Airlines

Macau International

3

496

Taipei Taoyuan

1

189

TOTAL

112

22,247

Source: Flightbase (August 14-20, 2011)

As the table above shows there are only a limited number of international flights from Hangzhou and these are dominated by links within the Asian market, particularly Hong Kong, Macau and Seoul Incheon.  In fact currently KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the only airline from outside of the continent to provide a link, with a daily service from Amsterdam.  In the year ending December 2010, approximately 67,000 O&D passengers travelled between Ethiopia and China but Ethiopian Airlines will hope to also secure a large amount of transit traffic from within Africa and even from Europe, thanks to the limited travel options currently available to Hangzhou.

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