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According to a report released by travel consultancy ForwardKeys on Wednesday, Ethiopia has overtaken Dubai as a conduit for long-haul passengers to Africa. Read full report here.
According to the agency, the record highlights the success of the state airline’s expansion drive and the reforms of its new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
ForwardKeys arrived at the conclusion after analysing data from travel booking systems that recorded 17 million flight bookings a day.
It found out that the number of long-haul transfers to sub-Saharan Africa via Addis Ababa jumped by 85 per cent from 2013 to 2017.
Transfers via Dubai over the same period rose by 31 per cent.So far this year, Addis Ababa’s growth is 18 per cent, versus three per cent for Dubai.
ForwardKeys also attributed the recent jump in bookings via Addis Ababa in part to a positive international response to the broad reforms introduced by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
It cited two changes in particular: a move to allow visitors to apply for visas online, and Abiy’s pledge to open Ethiopia’s largely state-controlled economy to foreign investment.
Mr Ahmed came to power in April and has upended politics in the Horn of Africa country of around 105 million people.
Dubai has long been a major global air travel hub because it is the base of Gulf carrier, Emirates.
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