Ethiopian Airlines Group, the largest Aviation Holding Company in Africa, is pleased to announce it will link Chicago and Africa for the first time today with its inaugural flight from O’Hare International Airport to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
The flight will be operated together with Star Alliance partner United Airlines and is scheduled to expediently connect flyers from Chicago and the Midwest to more than 55 destinations in Africa.
Ethiopian, a SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global airline, will fly the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the route, providing guests an exceptional flight experience with bigger windows, enhanced cabin lighting and more overall comfort for the approximately 14 hour journey. The flight departs O’Hare at 9:55am three times per week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Celebrating today’s milestone event, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, remarked: “Chicago will be our 4th destination in the U.S. and our 7th in the Americas. It is the third biggest city in the U.S. and one of the most important global aviation hubs. The flight will further boost the growing economic and people-to-people relations between the U.S. and Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular by enabling greater flow of trade, investment and tourism.”
“This is a proud moment for Chicago as O’Hare launches its first direct passenger flight to Africa,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This historic flight is strengthening Chicago’s connection to the world and the world’s connection to Chicago. As we make progress on modernizing O’Hare, I want to thank Ethiopian Airlines for choosing to grow their U.S. footprint in our great city.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Ethiopian Airlines to O’Hare and the first-ever direct service between Chicago and Africa,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “This landmark route to Ethiopia’s capitol of Addis Ababa further expands service for travelers at the world’s best connected airport and will generate an estimated $70 million in annual economic impact for the Chicago region.”
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seventy plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.
Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most fleet to more than 100 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, 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.
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 Express & Ancillary Services; Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; ET In-flight Catering; and Ethiopian Ground Services. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.