Beijing To Be Aviation Hub For Ethiopian Airlines

Beijing, the capital of China, is scheduled to become the East Asian aviation hub for Ethiopian Airlines, due to the fast development in economy and trade between China and Africa.

The carrier has said that it hopes to build a bridge linking China and Africa and it already considers Beijing as its aviation hub in East Asia as tourists from surrounding regions are able to transfer onto flights from Beijing.

In peak season, the airlines' passenger load factor often exceeds 90% on flights between Africa and China. The airline is finding it hard to keep up with the demand from China as more and more Chinese people want to travel to Africa.

Currently about 60% of the Chinese passengers are technicians and 25% are individual tourists.

The company said it will team up with Chinese travel agencies to bring more Chinese tourists to Ethiopia and this will be one of the company's key strategies in the future.

Ethiopian Airlines hopes to launch services to Shanghai or Hangzhou in the near future. It currently operates the Beijing to Addis Ababa route with 245-seat Boeing 767 aircraft. It plans to use the 348-seat Boeing 777 aircraft instead at the end of 2010.