German President visits rock-hewn churches at Lalibela Addis Ababa, January 29, 2019 – German President Frank -Walter Steinmeier today arrived in Lalibela town, Amhara regional state, to visit the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela, which are a UNESCO world heritage site. Early this morning the President, who arrived in Addis Ababa last Sunday for a four day official visit to Ethiopia, also visited a vocational training institute and the German Embassy in Addis Ababa. The German President met with President Sahle-Work Zewde and Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed yesterday to discuss bilateral issues as well as witnessed a MoU signing ceremony between the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and Volkswagen that enables the latter to set up an automotive industry in Ethiopia. The last day of the visit will be devoted to the African Union. The President Steinmeier will meet with, among others, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Ethiopian to begin free transit tour to global passengers tomorrow
Addis Ababa, January 31, 2019 – Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian), the largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX Certified Four Star Global Airline, said that it will begin free transit tour to global passengers as of Friday, February 1, 2019.
The new complimentary city tour package organized by ET Holidays, the tour operator wing of Ethiopian, takes transiting passengers with 6 to 8 hours’ time in Addis Ababa, on a journey through the National Museum.
The journey is accompanied with a taste of Ethiopian coffee and souvenir shopping at affordable prices and makes them experience the unique flavors of the political capital of Africa during their brief stay.
Zewdu Hailemariam, head of ET Holidays division told Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) today that the new tour package will help promote the airlines and encourage passengers to come again as tourists.
Group CEO of Ethiopian, Tewolde GebreMariam, said “as we continue to discover and deliver the best for our customers, we are pleased to come up with complimentary offerings to our global transiting passengers and make them savor every moment and feel the real taste of Addis Ababa during their brief stay.”
“While promoting Ethiopia, Land of Origins, and it’s beautiful capital Addis Ababa alike, as tourist destinations, we will keep promoting initiatives tailored to provide our ever growing customer with a unique and unforgettable travel experience.”
Ethiopian inaugurated its new state-of-the-art passenger terminal at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport built at a cost of $363 million and and new ultra-modern five-star Skylight Hotel constructed with $65 million.
The passenger terminal will help to serve the huge increase in volume through and into the airport. The airport will now be able to accommodate 22 million passengers annually.
Ethiopia has overtaken Dubai as a conduit for long-haul passengers to Africa, highlighting the success of the state airline’s expansion drive and the reforms of its new Prime Minister.
According to travel consultancy ForwardKeys, Addis Ababa airport had increased the number of international transfer passengers to sub-Saharan Africa for five years in a row, and in 2018 had surpassed Dubai, one of the world’s busiest airports, as the transfer hub for long-haul travel to the region.
ForwardKeys found the number of long-haul transfers to sub-Saharan Africa via Addis Ababa jumped by 85 percent from 2013 to 2017. Transfers via Dubai over the same period rose by 31 percent.
ForwardKeys also attributed the recent jump in bookings via Addis Ababa in part to a positive international response to the broad reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who came to power in April and has upended politics in the Horn of Africa country of around 105 million people.
And the rise of travel via Addis Ababa looks set to continue. International bookings via Ethiopia are up 40 percent year-on-year for November to January 2019, ahead of all other destinations in Africa, ForwardKeys said.
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