Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) celebrated the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airlines on July 2, 2019, opening a new route from Atlanta to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines is the first African carrier to serve ATL with a non-stop flight, as well as the ninth-largest airline in the world, according to FlightGlobal’s World Airline Rankings. The airline’s flights between Atlanta and Addis Ababa will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft with 270 seats (24 business class and 246 economy class). The flight time from ATL to Addis Ababa is approximately 13 hours and 45 minutes.
The new route links two key business destinations, provides more route options to Africa for travellers and opens up possibilities for expansion of trade between Atlanta and Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines sees ATL as potential hub to connect travellers from the Southeast US to destinations in Africa, including South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria. Ethiopian Airlines is also a Star Alliance member, which enables it to connect passengers seamlessly to destinations across the world.
At the grand reception ceremony on July 2, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam highlighted the significance of the new route: “We are excited to have Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as our very first passenger destination in the Southeastern part of the United States. With unique features, such as being the largest airport on the globe, ATL’s location will give leisure and business travelers convenient connections to destinations in the Southern region of the US and the Caribbean. We are glad to have launched flights to ATL at a remarkable point in time as Atlanta is dubbed as the business hub of the Southeast, and is home of many Fortune 500 companies.”
ATL General Manager John Selden recognised the importance of the new route for both Atlanta and Ethiopia: “Ethiopian Airlines’ new flight route between our two sister cities strengthens our local economy by creating jobs with access to new markets for business opportunities through two of the world’s largest global gateways. Such connectivity not only drives economic development in our respective regions, but also creates unique opportunities for tourists and visitors to experience diverse cultures.”
The ATL-Addis Ababa route is expected to have a positive impact on tourism and business opportunities between Ethiopia and the Southeast US. Atlanta and Ethiopia hold significant cultural ties, with Ethiopian diaspora in Atlanta being one of the largest in the US. Ethiopia is also the birthplace of coffee, which is widely consumed in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast.
In addition to the passenger service, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo launched a new route to Atlanta on June 27, offering weekly service between Addis Ababa and ATL’s cargo facility. The new cargo route is expected to expand Atlanta’s current air cargo trade with Africa.
Overall, the new route between ATL and Addis Ababa has the potential to open up new opportunities for business and tourism between these two regions of the world. Beyond that, the flight between ATL and Addis Ababa also creates a more seamless network of travel to Africa for passengers in the Southeast US. With Ethiopian Airlines’ commitment to world-class service, the new route offers an exciting new option for travel that is expected to benefit both Atlanta and Ethiopia far into the future.