Eritrean Airlines

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Eritrean Airlines
Eritrean Airlines logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded May 1991 (1991-05)
Commenced operations April 2003 (2003-04)
Hubs Asmara International Airport
Fleet size 3
Destinations 5
Company slogan Gateway to Africa
Parent company Government of Eritrea (100%)
Headquarters Asmara, Eritrea
Website Eritrean Airlines

Eritrean Airlines, shortened to Eritrean, is the national airline of Eritrea.[2] Based at Asmara International Airport it is wholly owned by the government of Eritrea.[1] Scheduled service had been discontinued since 2008, and the airline operated only a few hajj flights every year.[1] The airline was restarted under new management in 2011 and in 2011, Nasair, a privately owned company, merged with government-owned Eritrean Airlines, to form Nasair Eritrea[3]

Eritrean Airlines has been banned by the European Commission from flying into every country in the European Union since December 2012 (2012-12).[nb 1]


The airline was nominally established in May 1991 (1991-05),[10] serving as the ground handling agent at Asmara International Airport and at Assab and Massawa. It also acted as sales agent for other major airlines flying to Eritrea. In May 2002, it was decided to expand into airline services. In April 2003 (2003-04),[citation needed] an ex-EgyptAir 14-year-old Boeing 767-300ER was leased from Boeing and used to start operations between Asmara and Amsterdam.[11] It was the first aircraft the airline took possession of,[12] and was named Queen Bee. A second Boeing 767, a –200ER series, was bought in mid-2004 for US$5.8 million.[citation needed]

Eritrean Airlines's first aircraft was a Boeing 767-300ER named Queen Bee. The airplane is seen here at Frankfurt Airport in 2004.

The lease of the first Boeing 767 seems to have been replaced by an Airbus A320 in 2006 and then replaced again with a Boeing 757 in early 2007. It was again replaced with a DC-9 in late 2007, ending up with an MD-83.

In April 2003, Eritrean Airlines started regular services between Asmara and Frankfurt, Milan, Nairobi and Rome.[10][additional citation needed] In 2004, the airline added Amsterdam as another destination and in 2005, services began to Djibouti and Dubai. Meanwhile, the Nairobi route was dropped. By 2006, the flights to Amsterdam had been dropped while flights to Milan remained seasonal.[13] On 21 September 2006, Eritrean Airlines entered an accord with the Government of Pakistan to start direct flights between Eritrea and Pakistan. Eritrean Airlines received permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan to start two flights a week each for Karachi and Lahore.[14] The deal has duly materialised since then, with the commencement of online Eritrean services to Lahore and Karachi via Dubai four times per week on each route, with full fifth freedom passenger and cargo traffic rights on Pakistan - Dubai sector.

A Tunisia-registered Airbus A320-200 in Eritrean Airlines new livery on short final to Dubai International Airport in 2012.

The airline announced in 2008 that it was commencing seasonal services to Bamako, for Hajj travellers.[15] Flights to Djibouti have been suspended since the end of 2008 due to renewed tensions along the two countries' border and flights to Frankfurt had been temporarily cancelled as of summer of 2009.[16]

In June 2011, a senior Eritrean Foreign Ministry official said that the United States government has applied pressure prohibiting companies from leasing aircraft to Eritrea. He stated that Washington is resorting to such illegal acts as part of its hostile attempts of stiffening anti-Eritrea sanctions, at a time when the Eritrean government is engaged in programs of buying and leasing of passenger planes under a new Pakistani management.[17]

Eritrean Airlines resumed operations on 16 July 2011. It also introduced a new livery on the first A320 received, which was used for the inaugural service to Dubai and Lahore. A second A320 was added in October, and flights to Karachi were launched. The carrier also planned to restore domestic services once the currently stored Dornier fleet is made airworthy. Long-term fleet plans may include introduction of wide body aircraft like the Airbus A330, as well as new Boeing 737s to replace the A320.[18]


As of November 2015, Eritrean serves the following destinations:

Country City Airport Name Notes Refs
Egypt Cairo Cairo International Airport [19]
Eritrea Asmara Asmara International Airport Hub [19]
Germany Frankfurt Frankfurt Airport Terminated [20]
Italy Milan Malpensa International Airport [19]
Italy Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport Terminated [20]
Saudi Arabia Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport [19]
South Africa Cape Town Cape Town International Airport Terminated [21]
South Africa Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport Terminated [21]
Sudan Khartoum Khartoum International Airport [19]
Sudan Port Sudan Port Sudan New International Airport Terminated [22]
United Arab Emirates Dubai Dubai International Airport [19]


As of June 2015, E3-AAQ is the only Boeing 767 operating for the company.[23] The aircraft is seen here on short final to Dubai International Airport in 2005.

As of June 2015, the Eritrean Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[23]

Eritrean is also said to have six Dornier aircraft, which are stored in Eritrea.[18]

Historic fleet[edit]

The airline previously operated the following equipment:[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eritrean Airlines was included in the latest five lists released in December 2012 (2012-12),[4] July 2013 (2013-07),[5] and December 2013 (2013-12),[6] April 2014 (2014-04),[7] and December 2014 (2014-12).[8] It was not included in the list released in April 2012 (2012-04).[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Profile on Eritrean Airlines". Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Juma, Victor (27 September 2011). "Kenya: KQ and Eritrea Airlines Set for Turf War Over the Nairobi-Asmara Route". Business Daily Africa ( Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Nasair Merges With Eritrean Airlines Archived 7 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "List of airlines banned within the EU". European Commission. 4 December 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 December 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "List of air carriers of which all operations are subject to a ban within the EU". European Commission – Mobility & Transport. 3 April 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Takes Off Next Month". 24 March 2003. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "African airlines add 767s for European flights". Flightglobal. 6 May 2003. 
  12. ^ "Eritrean Airlines Begins Operations with a New Boeing 767". Boeing. 29 April 2003. Archived from the original on 19 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Pakistan, Eritrea to start direct flight". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  15. ^ "Eritrean Airlines Begins Flight to Mali to Transport Haj Travelers of the Islamic Faith From West Africa to Saudi Arabia". 10 November 2008. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Items tagged with Frankfurt | capitaleritrea news Archived 7 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Senior Official Exposes Washington’s Pressure To Undermine The Work Plans Of Eritrean Airlines Archived 16 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ a b "Revival of the Eritrean Airlines". 22 July 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Eritrean Airlines flight schedule".  Archived 24 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Cancels Frankfurt Service from Oct 2012". Airline Route. 11 September 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Starts South Africa Service". Airline Route. 8 May 2012. 
  22. ^ "Sudan: Eritrean Airlines Begins New Flight From and to Asmara-Port Sudan". 28 February 2015.  Archived 20 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Fleet". ch-aviation GmbH.  Archived 20 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "SubFleets for: Eritrean Airlines". AeroTransport Data Bank. 18 June 2013. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "Eritrean Airlines Fleet". ch-aviation GmbH.  Archived 18 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Media related to Eritrean Airlines at Wikimedia Commons