Covering the largest network in Africa, unrivalled by any other carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, has been bridging the gaps of air transportation in the continent, according to Ethiopian Airlines.

Accordingly, Ethiopian has marked the commencement of its new services to Conakry, the capital of Guinea on Feb 2, at Addis Ababa Bole Airport.

“We are pleased to launch services to Conakry. This new service takes a very special place in Ethiopian network expansion Endeavour, as it is the first of the seven new destinations that Ethiopian is going to launch in five months duration,” Chief Operating Officer Ethiopian Group, Mesfin Tasew said.

As Africa’s economy expands, the need for air transport has increased significantly and availability of accessible and hassle-free air connectivity is of paramount importance, he added.

He also said that Ethiopian has been working extensively in serving the continent with better and technologically advanced aviation technologies and systems.

“Ethiopian is growing since its creation; and it is a pan-African company. We are very happy and proud that this project is realized which will strengthen trade, tourism and the bilateral ties between the two nations,” Guinea Ambassador to Ethiopia Mme Sidibe Fatouma KABA said.

The flight will also help Guinean business people to travel to major world trading cities across the Ethiopian Airlines network, the Ambassador added.

Ethiopian will commence new flight services to Oslo, Antananarivo, Singapore, Jakarta, Chengdu and Victoria Falls in the coming six months.

On its expansion to India, Ethiopian Airlines has appended cargo and passenger service to Ahmedabad and Chennai, and increasing its capacity to Delhi as part of the expansion.

The airline plans to introduce thrice weekly Addis Ababa-Chennai service later this year and upgrade its Delhi operations from existing Boeing 737 service to Boeing 767 and 787 service adding 100 seats on the route.

It flies freighters to four Indian cities and will add a service to Ahmedabad from March, according to the newspaper.

“We are expecting 15 per cent increase in passenger traffic and 6-8 per cent growth in cargo traffic from India,” said Esayas Wolde Mariam, managing director (International Services).

About 20 per cent of passengers from India travel to Addis Ababa and the rest travel onward to other African countries including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, it was indicated.

“We offer value for money and shorter transit halts,” he said adding that passengers from India are also travelling to Brazil via Addis Ababa.

The Airline’s Regional Director for India Tadesse Tilahun said “India is a growing and very strategic market for Ethiopian. We have plans to expand our operations in India.”

At present, no Indian carrier flies to Africa and passengers to the continent fly via Addis Ababa, Dubai, Nairobi or other hubs.

Ethiopian Airlines is the largest carrier in Africa and currently flies twice daily to Mumbai and Delhi.

Between January-December 2016 Ethiopian Airlines flew around 200,000 passengers to/from India and has a share of around 20 per cent of India-Africa air traffic, second only to Emirates.