Addis Ababa to Asmara – Will a vision turn to reality?


(Posted 27th June 2018)

As the winds of peace sweep through the Horn of Africa, blown across the region by a courageous new Prime Minister in Addis Ababa, and delegations begin to make their way between the two long estranged capitals, is speculation growing that Ethiopian Airlines may soon be in a position to resume flights to Asmara, the way it was in the old days when first the two countries were one and then in the early days of Eritrea’s independence.
Regular contacts would not comment on such plans but it is understood that Ethiopian Airlines’ top management, ever aware of opportunities when they open up, may well have an announcement up their sleeves.
Given the sorry state of air connectivity with Asmara from across Africa – few African and fewer foreign airlines are presently serving Asmara – and the strong demand for travel to and from Eritrea, would flights very likely be operating at very high load factors with the added revenue element of air cargo being uplifted to and from Asmara.
For now are border issues being discussed and Ethiopia, according to some reports, have already began a withdrawal of troops from territory mapped out under the Algeria Accord signed in Algier in 2000 between the two countries.
However, a great many other benefits are to be accrued for both countries as Ethiopia, if all goes well, may gain access again to the ports of Massawa and Assab, shortening supply lines and handing Eritrea revenue from the use of the ports, rail and roads.
Air transport no doubt however would be the biggest winner and all eyes are now on the leadership in Addis and Asmara to see how fast the ‘Detente’ is unfolding and how quickly economic benefits can percolate down for both countries.