Ethiopian Airlines is looking to increase its Toronto service to daily flights and introduce a new route to Montreal, PAX has learned.
In an interview with PAX, Samson Arega, Ethiopian’s recently-appointed country manager for Canada, said that the airline has recently applied to Transport Canada to increase the number of flights between Toronto and Addis Ababa; currently, there are five weekly flights between the two gateways.
In addition, Ethiopian is also looking to launch a Montreal route in the near future, ideally offering daily flights as well, Arega said.
“As soon as we get approval from Transport Canada, we will launch daily flights from Toronto,” he said. “We’d like to make Montreal daily, but it will depend on what kind of frequencies we’re approved for. If we start flying to Montreal, we’d be the first airline connecting Quebec to sub-Saharan Africa.”
Tourism development is key
Arega, who took over for former Canadian manager Birhan Abate, told PAX that his “top priority” in the new role is increasing tourism to Africa – Ethiopia in particular – via Ethiopian Airlines. To that end, Arega said that the airline will continue to work with both the diplomatic community in Canada as well as travel agents to promote the tourism draws of both the country and continent.
And with arrivals to Ethiopia increasing (Ethiopian Airlines welcomed 12 million travellers to Addis Ababa this past year), Arega points to a number of improvements to the country’s travel infrastructure which have recently taken place, including an expansion of Bole International Airport to accommodate up to 20 million passengers per year as well as the recent opening of the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, a five-star property owned by the airline which Arega said will expand to 1,000 rooms in the second phase of development.
“We want to increase the flow of tourism from Canada to Africa – that’s my top priority and the reason why I took on the role of country manager for Canada,” Arega told PAX. “We want to focus on tourism development – we have so much to offer Canadians,” Arega said. “We want them to know about Ethiopia in particular, but Africa in general. There’s so much tourism potential that should be explored.”
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!