Ethiopian Airlines will become the latest carrier to offer long-haul flights from Manchester in December with services four times a week to Addis Ababa announced today.

Flights will launch on December 1, initially stopping at Brussels on the way to Ethiopian Airlines’ hub at Addis and offering onward services all over Africa and the Middle East and to Asia.

Ethiopian currently operates UK flights solely from Heathrow. The Manchester services will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Manchester Airport chief executive Andrew Cowan said: “We have served a number of African holiday destinations for many years, [but] this service will provide vital connectivity to one of the continent’s most-important hub airports.”

He said the Ethiopian Airlines network “will unlock dozens more destinations across Africa. The North will be better connected to this part of the world than ever before.”

Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive, said: “Passengers from Manchester will enjoy convenient connectivity options to 58 African destinations with our cutting-edge fleet.”

He added: “The socio-economic implication of the new flight is immense. [It] holds the promise of boosting trade, investment and tourism.”

Alex Marshall, group marketing and compliance director for Clarke Energy in Liverpool and a Northern Powerhouse export champion, said: “The route has the potential to be a massive benefit through the excellent onward connectivity Ethiopian Airlines will provide.”

Marketing Manchester managing director Sheona Southern added: “This opens up Greater Manchester to visitors, business investors and students from a new continent.”

Flights will depart Manchester at 19:00, arriving into Addis Ababa at 06:00., and depart Addis at 00:45 arriving into Manchester at 06:55.

Ethiopian operates to 58 cities across Africa and beyond to Southeast, South and East Asia. Return economy fares between Manchester and Addis Ababa start from £499.