Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, has announced that Ethiopian Airlines has begun flying to Milan. The nonstop service between Addis Ababa and Milan is only one of 63 destinations offered, and it’s maiden flight was July 2nd.
The airport at Addis Ababa has been involved in an expansion program, leading Boeing to ask the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for landing rights—Boeing wants to conduct high-altitude tests there but the request was denied. However, in October 2006 Airbus conducted a flight test for its A380 in Addis Ababa.
Officials claim congestion due to construction is behind the denial.
Addis Ababa is a high altitude airport and preferred for high altitude testing.
Private airlines at the Addis Ababa airport operate under an aviation regulation that prohibits private airlines from operating aircraft with over a 20-seat capacity.
Capt. Solomon Gizaw, owner and managing director of Abyssinia Flight Services calls this a protectionist practice.
“Do you know why the governments put the 20-seat limit? It is to protect Ethiopian Airlines. We all like the national flag carrier. But how long will it be protected?”