Eritrean Airlines started regular flights to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the Eritrean information minister said marking another step in improving relations between the Horn of African countries after a generation of hostility.
Ethiopia’s state-affiliated media confirmed a plane carrying Eritrean transport and tourism ministers and other officials landed at Addis Ababa’s Bole international airport – the first time in two decades such a flight had taken place, it said.
“On arrival at Bole, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene and other senior Ethiopian officials welcomed the delegation,” the report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation said.
Last month, an Ethiopian Airways plane became the first commercial flight from Ethiopia to Eritrea to land in Asmara in 20 years.
Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed offered in June to make peace with Eritrea two decades after the start of a conflict in which an estimated 80,000 people died.
Since signing an agreement in Asmara on July 9 to restore ties, the Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders have moved swiftly to sweep away hostility.
Abiy and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki have visited each other’s country.
“#Eritrean Airlines has begun regular flights to Addis Abeba today,” Eritrean minister Yemane Gebremeskel wrote on Twitter.
“The new route will expand existing regional flights of the airline to Cairo, Khartoum, Jeddah and Dubai …”
The Ethiopian carrier’s chief executive told Reuters it was in talks to take a stake in Eritrean Airlines.