Ethiopian Airlines Cargo is set to operate 12 full cargo flights a week out of Brussels Airport starting from 26 March. In recent weeks, the airport has been conducting intensive talks with the carrier about returning to Brussels Airport after the Federal Government had inked a new bilateral agreement with Ethiopia, enabling the carrier to undertake direct flights from Belgium to Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
“I am delighted that Ethiopian Airlines Cargo has decided to return to our airport. The carrier’s return is a highly positive development, not just for Brussels Airport but also for the Belgian economy as a whole. This move will not only see the reinstatement of the jobs that were lost with the air carrier’s withdrawal in November, it will also create many new jobs as Ethiopian Airlines Cargo is planning to more than double the number of flights a week out of Brussels Airport compared against last year. All direct flights out of Brussels to Dubai and 3 Asian destinations are day-time flights”, Brussels Airport Company’s CEO Arnaud Feist goes on to specify.
From 26 March, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo is set to undertake 12 weekly full cargo flights out of Brussels Airport. These are direct flights during the daytime bound for Dubai, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
The carrier is able to perform these flights courtesy of a new bilateral agreement between Belgium and Ethiopia, which now also allows Ethiopian airlines to operate direct cargo flights from Belgium to Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Guangzhou was already included under the previous bilateral agreement. In addition, this amendment leaves further scope for our country to welcome even more cargo flights from Ethiopian Airlines Cargo, thereby creating even more jobs in the process.
From January through October 2015, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo carried out four to six day-time flights a week to Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Although these flights still involved a stopover in Addis Ababa during the first few months, from August through to October Ethiopian Airlines Cargo was able to conduct these flights directly out of Brussels Airport thanks to traffic rights granted on a monthly basis.
Since Ethiopian Airlines Cargo’s withdrawal, Brussels Airport stayed in touch with both the airline and the Belgian Federal Government. In the interests of the hundreds of employees who owed their jobs to Ethiopian Airlines Cargo, Brussels Airport had pleaded its case with the Federal Government to amend the bilateral agreement between the two countries to allow for direct flights to various key destinations in the Middle East and Asia.