Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing African airline, is happy to announce the commencement of services to Semera, the capital of the Regional State of Afar located in the North Eastern part of Ethiopia, starting from December 14, 2013. The new service will be operated thrice weekly with Ethiopian Q-400 Bombardier aircraft on, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flight Days Origin Departure ET148 TUE,THU,SAT ADD SZE ET149 TUE,THU,SAT SZE ADD The Afar region is well known for its early hominid fossil finds including 'Lucy', an Australopithecus afarensis, discovered in 1974, who lived about 3.2 million years ago, and more recently the Grandfather of Lucy' dubbed "Kadanuumuu", which means "big man"in Afar language and which dates back from 3.5 - 3.8 million years ago. Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines Group said: "As the national carrier of Ethiopia, we have a duty to establish extensive domestic network and air connectivity that enables the flow of tourism, business, investment and trade to all parts of the country. Today, Ethiopian Regional Services covers 18 domestic points, the largest domestic network in Africa. Now that Semera airport is ready, we are very happy to start our flights and to support the region's economic development." With the region's growing mining and tourism industry, passengers from the Afar region as well as Ethiopian extensive network in five continents, especially business and leisure travelers from Toronto and Washington DC making transfer flights to Semera, will be able to enjoy the smooth and hassle- free travel experience. Ethiopian Regional Services is one of the seven strategic businesses units of Ethiopian Airlines Group and was established per Vision 2025 strategic roadmap with a view to cater to the growing domestic and regional travel needs. Ethiopian is the recipient of the 2013 SKYTRAX award for "Best Airline Staff Service in Africa"; the Passengers Choice Award for "Best Airline in Africa"; and recently the African Airlines Association award as "African Airline of the Year". About Ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its operations in the past close to seven decades, Ethiopian has become one of the continent's leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success. Ethiopian commands the lion share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 78 international destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as the Boeing 787, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200LR Freighter and Bombardier Q-400 with double cabin. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers: Ethiopian Domestic and Regional Airline; Ethiopian International Passenger Airline; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services; and Ethiopian Ground Service. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.