African carrier Ethiopian Airlines today said it has added Bengaluru in its freighter service network with the launch of first cargo flight to Addis Ababa early this month.
Ethiopian Airlines operates freighters services to four Indian cities --New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru-- from capital city Addis Ababa, a release said.
"Bengaluru is an important sector for us since it is a hub of IT and biotech apart from housing various MNCs. Ethiopian Airlines wanted to capitalise on this opportunity with a cargo flight to the city," Ethiopean Airlines Regional Director for India Sub-continent Tadesse Tilahun said.
Accordingly, he said, Bengaluru has been added as the fourth destination in India in addition to Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai from December 2.
Ethiopian is the fastest growing and most profitable airline in Africa.
"Ethiopian is growing fast with cargo a key part of its offering. Our Vision 2025 strategy covers global growth, but our focus is comparatively more to and from Asia, both in terms of frequency and in number of cargo potential origins to Africa," Ethiopian Cargo Services Managing Director Fitsum Abady said
Ethiopian Airlines has placed itself at the center of the crucial China-India-Africa trade lane helping robust growth of cargo operation, he said.
Last month, Government had announced increase in weekly seat entitlements on flights to Kenya and Ethiopia besides measures to boost air services with Scandinavian countries, including Sweden and Denmark.
Under a memorandum of understanding, the entitlements between India and Ethiopea have been increased from existing 21 weekly frequencies to 28 frequencies per week.
"Ethiopia has been allowed to exchange Bangalore in place of Kolkata as a point of call. Three additional domestic code share points exclusively to code share with Air India were granted namely Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune," an official release had said.
The global pan-African global carrier operates cargo services to 25 destinations worldwide besides 15 dedicated cargo destinations in Africa, apart from flying passenger services to 90 international destinations across five continents.