Ethiopian Airlines to launch flights from Atlanta to Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines is launching flights to Atlanta in May, introducing a new route to the world’s busiest airport.

The airline plans to operate four flights a week between Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and its Addis Ababa hub with a stop in Dublin, Ireland for refueling. The flights starting May 16 will be on Boeing 787-9 jets with 315 seats.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens in a written statement called Ethiopian Airlines’ announcement “yet another win for our city as we continue to develop and expand our air service to Africa.”

The last time an African carrier served Hartsfield-Jackson was in 2006, when South African Airways operated flights to Johannesburg and had a code-share marketing partnership with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.

South African Airways stopped flying the route in 2006 and joined United Airlines’ Star Alliance, while Delta launched its own flights to Africa.

Delta currently operates flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, as well as to Lagos, Nigeria.

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Ethiopian Airlines already flies to four other cities in the United States: New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago and Newark.

Mesfin Tasew, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, said in a written statement that the new Atlanta service will help boost “investment, tourism, diplomatic and socioeconomic bonds between the two regions.”