Somalia: Ethiopian’s comeback flights to Mogadishu worries Turkish Airlines
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The national flag carrier airline of Turkey, Turkish Airlines should be wary of Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit comeback as it seeks to grow its influence and dominance in the continent.
Ethiopia Airlines, Ethiopia’s flag carrier resumed its Addis – Ababa flight early this month after close to four decades of absence.
The Ethiopian halted its Mogadishu, Somalia flight over 41 years ago, following a border conflict that emerged between the two sister countries in the 1970s.
The historical Ogaden War between July 1977 and March 1978 was a territorial and political vendetta that caused bad blood between the East African countries breaking economic cooperation.
A similar incident was between Eritrea and Ethiopia that crippled any bilateral relations between them for a long time. Such political disputes have rendered most African countries growth and development in their economies leaving agony at the core of the disagreements. However, African governments are experiencing a reformation as they look to build better futures for their citizens.
Since Turkish Airlines was the only other carrier operating the Mogadishu flight, the re-start of the Addis Ababa – Mogadishu flight by the Ethiopian will spur stiffer competition in the aviation sector.
Ethiopian Airlines has proved to be no match for other African airlines as it has soared higher and wider beyond the boundaries of the continent.
As cited by the African Exponent site, the Ethiopian Airline Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said: “Flight to Mogadishu is our 117 destination after over 40 years…that is achieved because of the peace and friendship prevailing in the Horn of Africa.
“This direct commercial flight to Somalia promotes tourism, trade, and investment, we are planning to start cargo flight and increase the flight frequencies to daily and double daily.
“We have already checked that Mogadishu is peaceful and secured now.
“Our flights will quickly grow to multiple daily flights given the huge volume of traffic between the two sisterly countries and the significant traffic between Somalia and the rest of the world.”