A photograph taken on October 12, 2017 shows an Ethiopian airplane plane on the International Ball Airliner in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. (Sheinkha / Michael Twolde)
After 41 years of break-in, adding momentum to increasing bilateral economic ties.
Direct flights between Ethiopia and Somalia were suspended shortly after the outbreak of the 1977-78 border war between the two countries.
The launch of commercial flights between Ethiopia and Somalia also came to a broader optimism in the Horn of Africa region and came after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed paid a visit to Somalia in June to promote political and economic ties between the two peoples.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Addis Ababa International Airport, Abdullah Mohammed Werfa, deputy head of the Somali embassy delegation to Ethiopia, said that the resumption of the flight would connect the large Somali diaspora to its homeland.
"We want to ask Ethiopia to continue its support on one hand and to continue to connect our people in Mogadishu and the rest of Somalia, connecting them to other destinations in the world," he said.
Warpa also said he had a personal reason to celebrate the resumption of direct flights between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu, as the new flight route significantly shortens the air time he had to endure between the two cities.
"When I came to Addis Ababa from Mogadishu, I would go to Nairobi or the city of Djibouti or other places to get to Addis Ababa," he said.
"It took four to five hours to get to Addis Ababa, but now it was easy and I would go in less than two hours, thanks, Ethiopian Airlines."
Warpa's optimism was shared by Ali al-Muhammad, deputy chairman of the Somali community in Ethiopia, who said he hoped that cargo flights would soon be created to complement the already launched passenger flights.
"This flight will further deepen the connection between Ethiopians and Somalis. I hope that ET's next step will begin with cargo flights on passenger flights," Mohammed said.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tevelda Gabriam stressed the historical nature of the resumption of flights between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu and its potential economic benefits.
"Today, it is a great day to repeat a direct flight between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu after 40 years, today is a historic day, trade relations, investments and tourism between Ethiopia and Somalia have been avoided due to insufficient air connectivity," he said. .
"Renewing air services will promote tourism, trade and investment relations between Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as promote cross-border investments and people to the people," he said.
GebreMariam told Xinhua that Ethiopia Airlines also plans to launch cargo flights to Mogadishu, with an eye to facilitate Somalia's food export to the rest of the world, China in particular.
"We have seen how exports of seafood from Madagascar as Comoros through our Addis Ababa and China international airport have improved their economies, and Somalia will soon join this program," he said further.
Already, Ethiopia Airlines in October launched a transport service from the Norwegian capital Oslo to Guangzhou in southern China, twice a week Norwegian food and sea food to Chinese customers.