Star Alliance member Ethiopian Airlines, the largest network operating carrier in Africa, has finalised preparations to launch direct flights to Karachi in Pakistan from 1 May 2023.

Ethiopian first served Karachi from July 1966 to December 1971 and then again from June 1993 through July 2004.

From 1 May, Ethiopian will return to the Arabian Sea destination four times a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Flights on ET694 will depart the airline’s Addis Ababa hub at 2145 and arrive in Karachi at 0505 the next morning.

The return ET695 flights leave Karachi at 0555 and land back in Addis at 0855 the same morning.

Ethiopian will fly its Boeing 737 Max aircraft on these five-hour redeye flights.

The Ethiopian 737 Maxs feature a total of 160 seats – 16 in ‘Cloud Nine’ business class and 144 in standard economy.

Business class comes in a standard 2-2 recliner configuration, similar to domestic first class in the US; economy is configured 3-3.

Karachi will be Ethiopian’s only destinations in Pakistan. The airline does, however, serve Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in neighbouring India.

Chennai, too, is served by the 737 Max. The other three destinations see widebody 777 and 787 aircraft, with more comfortable lie-flat business class cabins.

Commenting on the resumption of services to Karachi, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said: “We are excited to return to Karachi nearly two decades after we last served the city. As the most populous city in Pakistan, Karachi will be a crucial gateway to Pakistan and the wider South Asia region. As the only flight connecting Pakistan with Africa, the planned service to Karachi will have significant contribution in strengthening the diplomatic and economic relations between the two regions. It will also offer convenient air connectivity to the growing number of Pakistani investors in Africa as well as tourists.”

Karachi will be Ethiopian’s 37th destination in Asia.