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Ethiopian Airlines adds two new South African destinations

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Airline of the Year for 2015, Ethiopian Airlines has added Cape Town and Durban to its hub of global destinations

Traffic & Sales Manager for Ethiopian in Cape Town, Kibrom Mekonnen says, “Domestically, we have been flying to Johannesburg for over two decades and recently we have stretched our wings to Cape Town (7x weekly) and Durban (3x weekly). This clearly shows that the remarkable support we are getting from the South African public which is also encouraging us to put more capacity into the market”.

This is good news for South Africans eager to fly with a Pan-African global carrier hailed for its state of the art aircraft and aviation technology. Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most contemporary fleet to more than 90 international destinations across five continents.

Its ultra-modern aircraft convoy has been bolstered with 13 B787 Dreamliners and 8 more on order. Its trajectory of growth has seen Ethiopian double in capacity since the beginning of the decade - this is in marked contrast to the majority of African carriers that have experienced limited or negative growth for the same period and speaks to the firmly forward-oriented vision aimed at multiple aspects of airline operations.

Abel Alemu, Regional Manager for Ethiopian Airlines adds: “The airline industry is an extremely dynamic and competitive low margin business. Therefore, long-term planning is crucial for the success factor. We have planned for the next 15 years which is our vision 2025 and encompasses infrastructure, finance, human resource development and systems.”

Ethiopian Airlines is in the first year of the second phase implementation of its 15-year strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, which will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa. Attributing the success of its vision to its exemplary people, Abel confers praise to the constructive corporate culture fine-tuned over 70 years of operations.

Ethiopian also has the largest aviation academy which is a huge contributor to its wellbeing. “Self-sufficiency in training on all aspects of aviation and services’ expertise right from the inception of our business has been one of the major success factors of Ethiopian Airlines. “That is why we have invested huge amount of time, energy and money for the expansion of our Aviation Academy to meet the demand for trained aviation expertise in the 21st century and to set the standard in high-level quality education demanded by the aviation profession,” he adds.

Whilst the sky is the limit for African growth, long haul network expansion will continue into 2016 with New York joining Toronto, Washington Dulles and Los Angeles into its North American grid of operations – with Chicago and Houston on the cards for 2017.

To the East

China is already Ethiopian’s largest market by seat capacity and when Hong Kong and greater China are included, China accounts for nearly 10% of Ethiopian’s international seat capacity in its northern winter schedule.

Guangzhou is currently Ethiopian’s largest long-haul route with an average of 5,586 weekly return seats and an ever-growing market large enough to support a second frequency. The airline is seeking additional slots at Guangzhou to support the additional flight earmarked for 2016 along with Chengdu.

Bangkok, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Shanghai are Ethiopian’s only long-haul destinations served non-stop in both directions. Kuala Lumpur is currently served via Bangkok while services to Toronto and Washington Dulles stop in Dublin but return non-stop on the eastbound sectors. The new Los Angeles service stops in Dublin in both directions.

Ethiopian expects China to continue to be a huge growth market over the next 10 years as economic ties between China and Africa continue to expand precipitously. Services to more secondary destinations are likely, particularly if the new Chengdu route proves successful.

Says Abel: “We will continue our leadership in the African Aviation industry and connecting mother Africa with its major global trading centres. We currently offer an extensive network, ideal connectivity options which guarantee the fastest and the shortest travel time between any destinations in the continent of Africa and to all 90+ of our global destinations as conveniently as possible.”

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