Mogadishu – An Ethiopian based private airline has announced that it plans to start regular scheduled commercial flights to Mogadishu, Somalia as early as next week, according to the airline’s management. The route would be the first of its kind between Somalia and Ethiopia.
Hussein Hosh, the manager of National Airways has told local media in Somalia that his airline plans to offer flights to Aden Adde International Airport from Addis Ababa three times a week, adding that the inaugural flight would be on Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018.
Hosh also said that National Airways would be competing with Ethiopian Airlines for a slice of the market in Hargeisa with flights scheduled to Egal International Airport.
Historically, relations between Somalia and Ethiopia have been frosty. Both Somalia and Ethiopia at one point banned each other’s aircraft from entering their respective airspaces. The Addis-Mogadishu route would be the first commercial flight in history.
In June of this year, newly minted Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in Mogadishu to sign a number of infrastructure development deals.
National Airways has been providing charter flight services since 2009 and is now positioning themselves to become major players in the domestic and regional flight market. In addition to the planned flights to Mogadishu and Hargeisa, National Airways has reportedly been granted landing rights in Garowe and Bossaso.
To compensate for the new routes, the airline has recently acquired a fleet of five Embraer regional jets from an American company.
Travellers from the US have said the new Addis-Mogadishu route will compliment Ethiopian Airlines’ direct flights from Chicago to Addis Ababa which began in June. Kenya Airways also plans to offer direct flights to the US via New York starting this October.