Following the launch of scheduled flights a few weeks ago by Turkish Airlines to Mogadishu and a visit to Hargeisa by a Turkish trade delegation in May, indicating that Turkish might also want to fly to Somaliland, a breakaway part of Somalia working hard to gain international recognition as a new state, Ethiopian yesterday resumed flights to Somalilands Berbera International Airport.
Operations were halted in 2008 following a terror attack on the airline offices in the capital Hargeisa but improved security circumstances, according to an aviation source in Nairobi, have since allowed for airlines to return to Somaliland, notably Kenyas Jetlink.
Ethiopian is alongside Turkish a member of Star Alliance but the competition will be fierce nevertheless between the partners, as ET is also said to be considering flying to Mogadishu in due course, again as a result of greatly improved security in Somalias capital.
This latest addition to Ethiopians route network puts the airline once again into the market leader position with the most destinations in Africa served, ahead of rivals Kenya Airways. It could not be ascertained if Hargeisa too will in due course be added as a second destination in Somaliland by Ethiopian. Watch this space for regular aviation news updates from the wider East African region.