The Ethiopian Airline on Wednesday said it had begun a desk study preparatory to its commencement of flight operations to the Nigeria’s commercial city of Kano.
The Airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde Gebremariam, said in Addis Ababa that the outcome of the study would determine when it would resume flight operation on the Kano route.
Gebremariam spoke shortly after inaugurating a three-weekly flight operations to Niamey, Niger Republic.
The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority had on Nov. 6, signed an agreement with Nigeria to begin a 10-weekly flight operation to Kano.
The agreement would increase the Airline’s operations from the current 18 weekly flights to 31 weekly flights to Nigeria.
According to the MoU, the Ethiopian Airline will operate seven weekly passenger flights and three weekly cargo flights to Kano, in addition to its current flights to Abuja, Lagos and Enugu.
Part of the agreement would allow one Nigerian airline to equally fly the Ethiopian route to Addis Ababa and other cities in Ethiopia.
Gebremariam said the study would determine how soon the Airline would resume the operation, which was suspended for more than 20 years due to poor weather condition, among other challenges.
“It will be followed by market survey and once the commercial viability is assured, we will go operational visibility.
“The operational visibility study will include airport facilities including security, safety standards and flight operations, among other things, to enable the take-off of the operations to the city.“
He said the flight operation would begin with five flights a week and later the 10-weekly with three being cargo and seven passenger flights.
He said the Airline would begin by establishing direct flight operations to the Arabian gulf countries.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight resumption to Niamey, Niger Republic makes it the 47th destination in Africa.
Gebremariam said the Niamey destination was also suspended about 20 years ago due to weather difficulties, which had been addressed.