Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) will resume 5th Freedom international flights out of Asmara, Eritrea in December following a 20-year-long hiatus.

According to RoutesOnline, the Ethiopian national carrier will start 3x weekly flights from the Eritrean capital to London Heathrow, United Kingdom from December 1 (operated onboard A350-900 equipment) while a 3x weekly service to Milan Malpensa via Rome Fiumicino, Italy will start on December 11 (operated onboard B777-200(LR)/B787-8 equipment).

Both routes will originate in Addis Ababa on the outbound sector and terminate there on the inbound. Ethiopian last operated international flights out of Asmara in 1998 just prior to the outbreak of the Eritrean–Ethiopian War in May of that year.

For its part, Eritrean Airlines (B8, Asmara) has attempted, unsuccessfully, to use wet-leased aircraft to serve Italy in the past most recently between November 2017 and April 2018. Over that period, it used a B737-300 wet-leased from YanAir (YE, Kyiv Igor Sikorsky) to run a 2x weekly Asmara-Milan Malpensa via Cairo Int'l service.

Italian government records show Neos (NO, Milan Malpensa) currently holds unused rights to a 1x weekly Italy-Eritrea service (whose validity was suspended this summer season but which will be reactivated again this winter).