For Immediate Release

Nov 30, 2018, Toronto, OntarioEthiopia, the base for Africa’s largest Aviation Group Ethiopian Airlines, has overtaken Dubai as the top transit hub for long-haul passengers to Africa, Reuters has reported citing travel consultancy ForwardKeys. The success underscores the continued success of Ethiopian Airlines’ expansion drive and the reforms of Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, according to ForwardKeys.

 Addis Ababa airport had increased the number of international transfer passengers to sub-Saharan Africa for five years in a row, and in 2018 had surpassed Dubai, one of the world’s busiest airports, as the transfer hub for long-haul travel to the region. Travel booking systems data revealed that the number of long-haul transfers to sub-Saharan Africa via Addis Ababa jumped by 85 percent from 2013 to 2017. Transfers via Dubai over the same period rose by 31 percent. The move to allow visitors to apply for visas online, and the pledge of Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed to open Ethiopia’s largely state-controlled economy to foreign investment are said to have contributed to the increase in bookings via Addis Ababa.

 Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam remarked, “The report by travel consultancy ForwardKeys reveals Ethiopia’s leading role in serving as the major African hub to long-haul air travel to the region, and it perfectly matches with the ambitions of our Pan-African airline which has always sought a fair share for African carriers in the continent’s air travel market. Our continued investment in expanding our intra-African network, which is the largest by an airline, is now paying dividends. With the partnerships we are entering with indigenous African airlines and the massive expansion work underway at Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia is set to grow even further as the major transit hub for long-haul air traffic to/from Africa.”

Dubai has long been a major global air travel hub because it is the base of Gulf carrier Emirates. Given the lack of an “open skies” deal smoothing flights across Africa, many passengers traveling between one part of the continent and another, or from Asia or Europe to Africa, must often transit through Dubai, Reuters noted in its report.

With 117 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents, 60 of which are in Africa, Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of intra-African network.

 Reuters’ report is available at the below link:




About Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seven decades of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success. Ethiopian operates the youngest and most modern fleet to 93 international destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft. The airlines operates three direct flights weekly from Toronto to Addis Ababa with connections 53 destinations Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers: Ethiopian Domestic and Regional Airline; Ethiopian International Passenger Airline; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services; and Ethiopian Ground Service. Ethiopian is a multi-award-winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.


Media Contact

Members of the media can contact us for articles, information or interviews.
Gordana Mosher
PR & Communications Manager