Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) and Indonesian national flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, have signed an agreement on aircraft maintenance services today.
The agreement was signed following a meeting held between Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi on the sidelines of the Indonesia-Africa Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Wednesday
Ethiopian is expecting to kick off its inaugural direct flight connecting Jakarta and Addis Ababa next month. It plans to provide the direct flight three times a week via Bangkok.
Speaking after the meeting, Tewolde said “the three days direct flight from Addis Ababa to Jakarta will not only help to connect Ethiopia and Indonesia but it will also play a vital role to connect all African countries with Indonesia and other South East Asian Countries.”
Retno for her part said “We talked about connectivity because it matters in supporting economic, trade and people-to-people cooperation,”
“Hence, the agreement on the direct flight is a breakthrough for Indonesia-Africa economic ties,” the Jakarta Post quoted Retno as saying.
She further said a lack of connectivity had been an issue that hindered Indonesia and Africa from boosting trade and investment cooperation.
“In the meeting, I also expressed our interest to designate Addis Ababa as the hub of Indonesia’s visa services for other African countries,” the minister said.
Separately, Indonesian Ambassador to Ethiopia Imam Santosa said the Jakarta-Addis Ababa direct flight would likely kick off within a month or two, depending on the progress of technical preparations.
“It depends on technical readiness, like offices, partnerships for catering services and airport facilities,” he said. “Once they are ready, the flights can start.”