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Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed it will operate a four-weekly scheduled flight service between Addis Ababa and Manchester, effective 1 December, 2018.

In a statement released by the airline it said that the route will unlock connections to more than 58 countries across the African continent. The new route will also serve as a key trade route for Northern businesses, opening up fresh export opportunities and delivering cost and journey time savings to those already operating there.

The route will initially transit via Brussels, departing Manchester at 19h00, arriving at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 06:00, providing significant onward connectivity options from the African hub. On the return it departs Addis Ababa at 00:45 and arrives in Manchester at 06:55.

Ethiopian airlines will deploy a B787 on the route featuring business and economy classes.

Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan said: “The introduction of this route underlines the critical role Manchester Airport plays in connecting the people and businesses of the North to the world’s most important markets.

“While we have served a number of African holiday destinations for many years, this service will provide vital connectivity to one of the continent’s most important hub airports.

“That will unlock dozens more destinations across Africa through Ethiopian Airlines’ unrivalled network, meaning the North will be better connected to this part of the world than ever before.”