Ethiopian to Celebrate Inaugural Flight to Toronto - 13 July, 2012

Ethiopian Airlines will be hosting a ceremony on Monday July 16, 2012 at the VIP Salon of Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in celebration of its milestone inaugural flight to Toronto scheduled on the same day.

The ceremony celebrating the first direct connection between Toronto and Africa is expected to be attended by many dignitaries, including, H.E Ato Diriba Kuma, Minister of Transport; H.E Mrs. Michèle Lévesque, Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia; other government dignitaries, members of the diplomatic community; and the media.

Ahead of the ceremony, Ato Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian, said "We have long envisioned Canada as integral part of our growing network. Canada is home to a thriving business community and a large African diaspora. Our flight to Canada will play an instrumental role in serving both communities and in enhancing trade and economic ties between Africa and Canada."

Toronto will be the 69th international destination for Ethiopian and the 2nd in the Americas. With this new flight, Toronto will be connected, via Ethiopian's hub at Addis Ababa, to the most extensive network in Africa, covering such cities as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dares Salaam, Kigali, Lusaka, Bujumbura, the Seychelles, Douala, Kinshasa and Harare.

Passengers traveling from cities in North America such as Montréal, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and San Francisco will also find convenient and direct connections to Africa via Toronto.

Ethiopian will fly on the Toronto route its brand new and ultra-modern B777-200LR aircraft, configured with 34 seats in the luxurious Cloud Nine Business Class and 287 seats in Economy Class.

"Although Ethiopian is scheduled to fly to Toronto just twice weekly, we are ready to immediately add more flights, once the bilateral agreement between the two countries is enhanced" added CEO Tewolde.

Ethiopian, the fastest growing airline in Africa, is continuously striving to enhance its customers' travel experience with a fast expanding network and the introduction of brand new state-of-the-art aircraft.

In the current Ethiopian fiscal year alone, Ethiopian will enter into service 14 additional new aircraft, including 5 ultra-modern B787-800 Dream liners and 3 B737-800s with Sky Interior. Ethiopian is on track to launch service to five new destinations in 2012, including not only Toronto but São Paulo as well.

About Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946 and now the Airline provides dependable services to 68 international destinations spanning four continents.

Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,555 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.

Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products. Recently, Ethiopian won gold in the African Airline of the Year 2011/2012 Awards organized by the African Aviation News Portal. Ethiopian also received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the "AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011 Award” for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian also won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and "the Airline of the Year 2009 Award" from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

With its acquisition of and firm orders for several new modern aircraft and its fast expanding network, the airline is well positioned to become the leading aviation group in Africa, per its Vision 2025 strategic roadmap.