Passengers sing and dance during the first flight between the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the Eritrean capital Asmara in twenty years. Photo: Michael Tewelde/AFP/Getty Images
The first commercial flight between Ethiopia and Eritrea in two decades took place today after a landmark agreement between the two countries earlier this month ended a prolonged and deadly border dispute.
The details: Passengers celebrated the historic event, taking selfies, as well as dancing and singing during the 60-minute flight, per BBC News. Some reportedly broke-down in tears upon their arrival in Asmara, as they met relatives and friends for the first time since the standoff started in 1998.
- Local reports said tickets for the inaugural fight from Addis Ababa to Asmara on Ethiopian Airlines sold out within few hours.
- The airline shared a photo on Twitter of two pilots in the plane's cockpit. "The clock is ticking for our historic flight to #Asmara. #Familyreunion #Ethiopia #Eritrea," the tweet reads.
The backdrop: Border tensions between the nations stem from Eritrea's secession from Ethiopia in 1993. A peace agreement was signed in 2000 to end the conflict, but hostilities persisted. The countries' leaders last week declared an end to the war.