Yissehak ZewoldiAddis Ababa, Ethiopia – ASKY Airlines, an affiliate of the Ethiopian Airlines, is planning to open a new route to Beirut, Lebanon.

In the sideline of the 45th African Airlines Association (AFRAA) annual general assembly, the newly-appointed CEO of ASKY, Yissehak  Zewoldi,  told The Reporter that his airline will soon start a four-weekly flight to Beirut with a Boeing B737-800 aircraft.

Yissehak said Togo and Lebanon have signed a bilateral air service agreement that enables the airlines of the two countries to fly to each other’s country. “Now we are working on detailed technical matters,” Yissehak said.

There are large Lebanese communities in West Africa. ASKY hopes to carry passengers from the Middle East to West Africa and feed passengers travelling to Brazil to Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian operates three weekly flights from its hub in Addis Ababa to Sao Paolo through Lome. “We want to establish a natural route. If you look at a map it will be a straight flight from Beirut to Sao Paolo via Lome. We will feed passengers to Ethiopian Airlines. This route will be the shortest from the Middle East to South America,” Yissehak added.

The Togo-based private airline became operational in 2010. ASKY currently operates seven aircraft to 22 destinations in west and central Africa. The airline was established by West African banks and private investors. Ethiopian owns a 45 percent stake in the airline.  Ethiopian has also a five-year management contact with ASKY. Recently, Ethiopian Airlines bought a 49 percent stake on the newly- established airline in Malawi, Malawi Airlines Ltd.

Source: thereporterethiopia.com