MIAMI, Aug. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 29, Ethiopian Airlines launched the first of two weekly freighter flights between the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and Miami, creating the first-ever cargo-only route between the African continent and Miami International Airport. The scheduled flights will operate on a route that includes intermediate stops in Spain, Colombia and Belgium on inbound and outbound services. All flights will utilize B777-200LRF freighter aircraft.
"We proudly welcome Ethiopian Airlines and its new cargo service to Miami-Dade County," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "We look forward to the additional revenue, jobs and business ties these new flights will bring to our community."
Founded in 1945, Ethiopian Airlines is currently the largest airline group and largest cargo operator in Africa, serving more than 92 international destinations across five continents. In 2017, Ethiopian won the SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline in Africa. Ethiopian also received the African Cargo Airline of the Year award during the 2017 Air Cargo Africa Conference, based on votes by worldwide readers of STAT Trade Times.
"We are very pleased to see Zaragoza, Miami, and Bogota joining our fast expanding freighter network in the Americas," said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "With the new service, Ethiopian will carry Inditex high-end textile products from Zaragoza to the Americas. In line with our strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, we will keep on expanding our cargo destinations worldwide, thereby facilitating trade and economic growth among different regions of the world."
Ethiopian's announcement is the latest milestone in MIA's strategic plan to expand into new global markets, adding to the synergies created by its extensive cargo network throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. During 2017, TACA Peru began four weekly freighter flights from five South American cities; Mexico-based Aeronaves TSM commenced 10 weekly freighter flights from Cancun; and Qatar Airways launched two weekly cargo flights from Doha, with intermediate stops in Luxembourg, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Quito, and Liege. In 2018, Southern Air began weekly all-cargo service from Hong Kong via Anchorage; Turkish Cargo launched a second weekly frequency from Istanbul; and Polar Air Cargo launched direct Tokyo freighter service.
"I would like to congratulate the MIA team for achieving this historic milestone," said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Chairwoman of the County's Economic Development and Tourism Committee. "MIA continues to connect Miami-Dade County to more parts of the world than ever before, serving as our community's largest economic engine."
MIA's ongoing expansion of new all-cargo services continues to reap significant rewards. In 2017, MIA secured its best year ever for freight tonnage, with over 2.2 million tons moving through the airport. In that year, MIA was named "Best Freighter Hub" in the world by Freighter World magazine. In 2018, MIA was awarded "Best Airport North America" from Asia Cargo News during The Asian Freight Logistics & Supply Chain Awards in Shanghai, China.
"We applaud Ethiopian Airlines for bringing us MIA's first cargo destination in Africa," said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Lester Sola. "Our unrivaled position as the international cargo capital of the U.S. and the gateway of the Americas continues to attract new service from key markets in Europe, the Middle East, and now, one of the busiest air cargo hubs in Africa."
Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America's third-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup of more than 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight. MIA, along with its general aviation airports, is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of $30.9 billion annually and welcoming nearly 60 percent of all international visitors to Florida. MIA's vision is to grow from a recognized hemispheric hub to a global airport of choice that offers customers a world-class experience and an expanded route network with direct passenger and cargo access to all world regions. MIA is committed to sustainable practices. Learn more at www.MIAefficiency.com.
About Ethiopian: Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services currently serves over 44 international destinations in Africa, the Gulf, Middle East, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, and boasts the largest trans-shipment terminal in Africa and one of the biggest ten in the world with an annual capacity of about 1 million tons.
SOURCE Miami International Airport