KARACHI - The airline operating huge network in Africa has resumed its operations in Pakistan after a gap of 19 years.
'Ethiopian Airlines' has restarted direct flights to Karachi and the first flight in this regard with 110 passengers onboard landed at the Jinnah International Airport this morning.
Those who arrived in the country include senior Ethiopian officials, diplomats, and a trade delegation, who were given a rousing welcome upon arrival.
Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah along with provincial ministers including Sharjeel Inam Memon, Nasir Shah, Ikramullah Dharejo, and Murtaza Wahab welcomed the passengers at the Old Terminal.
The flight, ET 694, departed from Addis Ababa and took four hours and 25 minutes using a brand new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to transport the passengers who were overjoyed at the resumption of service.
The airline also announced the development on its Twitter account. "Ethiopian Airlines is pleased to announce that it has commenced four times weekly direct flights to Karachi, Pakistan," the tweet read.
Ethiopian Airlines operated direct flights to Karachi in the 1960s and 1990s but discontinued its sevices due to different reasons.
We are thrilled to welcome Ethiopian Airlines to Jinnah International Airport. This affords people of both countries a great opportunity to explore each other's region. We look forward to a healthy partnership that benefits our nations. pic.twitter.com/A8JYWdoHOw— PCAAOfficial (@official_pcaa) May 9, 2023
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the Ethiopian ambassador to Pakistan, Jamal Beker Abdula, thanked the Pakistani government for restoring air connectivity and highlighted the potential benefits of direct flights for promoting trade and tourism between the two countries.
Pakistan's aviation industry is fast changing with closure of few airlines and entry of new players. A few months earlier, British airline Virgin Atlantic announced to close operations in Pakistan citing ‘low yield operations’ while Ethiopian Airlines announced to begin operations in the country.
At present, carriers are facing challenges in repatriating dollars because of low foreign exchange reserves of the country.
Air carriers sell tickets in local currency but then they need to repatriate dollars to pay for expenses such as fuel and maintenance charges and certainly a delay in the process dents their financial balance.
Pakistani currency remains momentum against US dollar in the open market on February 28, 2024 (Wednesday).
In the open market, the US dollar moves up and currently hovers at 282 for buying and 282.25 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303.1 for buying and 306.1 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.6 for buying, and 355.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.25.
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