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.