The Ethiopian Airlines, one of the leading Airliners in Africa, on Sunday made a special flight to Seychelles, its newest destination with a group of about 152 Chinese tourists on the eve of the Chinese Spring Festival.
The Ethiopian which made test flight on Sunday promoting its new destination, will be starting regular flights to the Island on the Indian Ocean very close to Africa in April 2012 expecting good economic dividend from the business to Seychelles.
Esayas Woldemariam, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, and Xie Xiaoyan, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, along with Chinese diplomats and Ethiopian Staff on Sunday welcomed the Chinese tourists who landed in Addis Ababa Bole International Airport for transit from Beijing. The tourists are to spend their holiday-times of Chinese Spring Festival enjoying sun scene, sand and sea in Seychelles which is a destination for holiday makers and honeymoon among others.
Esayas noted on the occasion of the welcoming ceremony at the Airport that the Ethiopian Airlines is very happy to welcome the Chinese to Seychelles, a tourist destination in Africa through Ethiopia, which is a gateway from China to the African continent.
"We are very happy to welcome this first group of Chinese to Seychelles, which is going to be one of our biggest destinations in the future," said the Vice President.
The Ethiopian Airlines has about 42 destinations in Africa, said Esayas.
He said the Ethiopian Airlines which has been flying to China since the 1970s being the first Airliner to fly to a destination of fastest growing economy, has now about 23 flights a week to China.
Esayas told Xinhua particularly that Seychelles, a tourist destination mostly visited by Europeans is now being visited by Chinese tourists, who are affording anything and travelling everywhere.
"Seychelles is the newest destination of the Ethiopian Airlines in the Indian Ocean and it is part of Africa and it is a holiday destination. Mostly, it is visited by European tourists and holiday makers, and honey moon destination. But, now the Chinese are affording anything and they are travelling everywhere; so, we now are trying to bring them to Africa in a very big way," said Esayas.
"When they come to Seychelles, Kenya or Tanzania or South Africa they also have a taste of Ethiopia and we arrange package tours for tourists also to stay in Ethiopia for a few days going to northern historic routes and southern cultural and natural routes for them also to explore Ethiopia," added Esayas.
According to the Vice President, the Ethiopian has been increasing number of flights to China, which is one of the largest trading partners of Africa.
Currently Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Hangzhou are the four destinations of the Ethiopian in China, said Esayas.
The Vice President also said the Ethiopian Airlines provides transport services of both passengers and cargo to help and facilitate the trade, investment and cultural exchanges Africa has with its giant economic partner.
"Now China is being the largest trading partner to Africa; and so, the Ethiopian Airlines should provide the transportation vehicle; the transport logistic is very much vital for facilitating trade and investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between China and Africa," said Esayas.
The Ethiopian Airlines has been one of Africa's carriers flying for the last 65 years with its efficiency, safety and operational success.
It made its maiden international flight to Cairo, Egypt in 1946.