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.
Travel consultancy ForwardKeys said on Wednesday 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.
Analysing data from travel booking systems that record 17 million flight bookings a day, 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.
So far this year, Addis Ababa’s growth is 18 percent, versus 3 percent for Dubai.
Dubai has long been a major global air travel hub because it is the base of Gulf carrier Emirates.
Given the lack of an “open skies” deal smoothing flights across Africa, many passengers travelling between one part of the continent and another, or from Asia or Europe to Africa, must often transit through Dubai. Read more
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