First direct flights from Chicago to Africa to begin next week

First direct flights from Chicago to Africa to begin next week

By Lauren Zumbach

Flags are displayed at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in 2015. Direct flights to Ethiopia begin June 11, 2018. Direct New Zealand flights begin in November; officials say Chicago will join just five other cities with nonstop flights to all six major inhabited world regions. (Anthony Souffle / Chicago Tribune)
Flags are displayed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in 2015. Direct flights to Ethiopia begin June 11, 2018. Direct New Zealand flights begin in November; officials say Chicago will join just five other cities with nonstop flights to all six major inhabited world regions. (Anthony Souffle / Chicago Tribune)

A flight scheduled to arrive at O’Hare International Airport on Monday will mark the start of the first direct flights between Chicago and Africa.

The Chicago Department of Aviation and Ethiopian Airlines announced the new thrice-weekly nonstop flights between O’Hare and Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, in the East African country’s capital city, earlier this year.

“We believe that the flight will further boost the growing relations between the USA and Africa in general, and Ethiopia in particular, by enabling greater flow of trade, investment and tourism,” Nigusu Worku, U.S. regional director at Ethiopian Airlines, said in an emailed statement.

When Air New Zealand begins flights between O’Hare and Auckland in November — another new service announced in March — Chicago will join the ranks of just five cities that have nonstop passenger flights to all six major inhabited regions of the world, according to Department of Aviation spokeswoman Lauren Huffman.

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