The Ethiopian Airlines Group has begun a freighter service to the Southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu last week.
The first cargo plane accorded a water salute when it landed in the capital city of Sichuan province on Friday.
The scheduled freighter service to Chengdu brings the number of Ethiopian Airline’s destinations in mainland China to eight.
The service would further boost the carrier’s performance which has surpassed pre-COVID levels.
The Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH) – a sovereign wealth fund that manages state-owned companies – reviewed the airline’s performance in the 2022/23 fiscal year on Thursday.
Per EIC, the airline saw a sharp recovery from the effects of Covid as its traffic surged beyond post-pandemic levels in the June-ended fiscal year.
Total traffic – measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs – showed a 67% year-on-year jump while seat supply, measured in available seat-kilometers (ASKs), also grew 51% YoY.
International traffic climbed 62% versus the preceding fiscal year – above the global average – while domestic traffic also rose 55% YoY.
The carrier “has surpassed pre-COVID levels and signaled full business recovery from the effects of the global pandemic,” the EIH said.
The airline carried 13.89 million passengers and more than 723,000 tons of freighters, boosting its annual revenue growth by 20% to over 6.1 billion US dollars.