Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it would resume flights to Asmara, Eritrea’s capital on the 17th of July, 2018, for the first time in 20 years, as both countries have declared their the end of their “state of war”.
Both countries have agreed to open embassies, develop ports and resume flights, concrete signs of a rapprochement that has brought an end to two decades of hostility since war erupted over their disputed frontier in 1998.
“With the opening of a new chapter of peace and friendship between the two sisterly countries, we look forward to starting flights to Asmara with the B787,” said Ethiopian Airline’s Chief Executive, Tewolde GebreMariam.
The announcement made on Monday formally ended one of Africa’s most unyielding military stand-offs, a conflict that has destabilised the region and seen both governments channel huge parts of their budgets into security and soldiers.
The solidarity followed a visit to Asmara by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who embraced Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki on the airport runway. Thousands of Eritreans came onto the streets to cheer them and the two men danced side by side to traditional music from both countries at a dinner that evening.