Increasing its presence in the Middle East, Ethiopian will commence new nonstop flights from Addis Ababa to Muscat, the capital of Oman, on 27 December 2011. Oman, located in the South Eastern Coast of the Arabian Peninsula, is a unique tourist destination in the Middle East, with a wide variety of activities. Oman has a wide variety of beaches over its 1700 km coastline; popular activities include scuba diving, rock climbing, surfing, sailing, cave exploration, and camel races. There are many shopping malls, mainly centered in Muscat, and Souqs can be found in many towns throughout the country. Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said “We are pleased that Ethiopian is starting the service at the time the Arab League Tourism Ministers’ nominate Muscat as ‘Arab Tourism Capital 2012’. The Sultanate offers popular tourist attractions such as the Wadis (valleys), parks, beaches and mountains to be explored and experienced with its timeless traditions”. Muscat will be Ethiopian’s 7th destination in the Middle East and 63rd worldwide. The flight schedule will be as follows: Flight Days Origin Departure Arrival Destination ET624 Tu/Th/Sa Addis Ababa 23:30 04:10 Muscat ET625 We/Fr/Su Muscat 05:10 07:50 Addis Ababa With this new flight, Muscat will be connected to dozens of cities in Africa via Ethiopian’s hub at Addis Ababa. Convenient connections will be available to and from cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Entebbe, and Lusaka. To celebrate this new route, Ethiopian announces a promotional fare from Addis Ababa to Muscat starting from USD 240 one way and USD 428 for a round trip ticket excluding tax, which is valid for travel until 31 March 2012. About Ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the addition of new flight services to Muscat, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 63 international destinations spanning four continents. Recently, Ethiopian received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the "AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011" Award for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and "Airline of the Year 2009" award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). In August 2008, Ethiopian won "the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award" of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry. Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.