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Ethiopian Airlines to join Star Alliance

Star Alliance announced today that Ethiopian Airlines will become a member of the alliance as its Chief Executive Board has unanimously approved Ethiopian Airlines’ joining application. Ethiopian Airlines is expected to become a Star Alliance member within the next 12 months.

SAS already code-shares with Ethiopian Airlines on the Stockholm-Addis Ababa route since earlier this year, but the partnership has now been expanded to include a number of Ethiopian’s African destinations, such as Ambouli (Djibouti), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Entebbe (Uganda), Mombasa (Kenya), Nairobi (Kenya), and Zanzibar (Tanzania).

"On behalf of Star Alliance’s Chief Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to invite Ethiopian Airlines to join the Star Alliance network. Ethiopian’s extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travellers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets. Moreover, we will in future have three main hubs – Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg – allowing for an ideal access to the continent from either the North, Centre-East or South," said Jaan Albrecht, CEO, Star Alliance.

Ethiopian Airlines will become the third Star Alliance member carrier on the African Continent, joining EGYPTAIR and South African Airways. SAS will also commence code-share agreement with EGYPTAIR on the new Cairo-Copenhagen route, which will be launched by EGYPTAIR October 1.

"We are happy and honoured to be invited to the big family of airlines. Ethiopian will definitely enhance Star Alliance’s global network. Our long experience in the Africa market, coupled with our strategic hub Addis Ababa, and the recently created Lome hub, will allow Star Alliance members to access many new markets in Africa. Together, we can offer our passengers more convenient flight schedules, greater flight frequencies, a larger network and more on-line connections. All these features improve the quality of the service available to our customers", said Mr. Girma Wake, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines.

The acceptance of Ethiopian Airlines is an integral part of Star Alliance’s Africa strategy. Market studies, conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), show that Africa is forecast to have the second highest growth rate in air traffic over the coming years. Demand will mainly stem from economic growth made possible by increasing political stability on the continent.

Through its future membership in Star Alliance, Ethiopian Airlines will gain access to the many markets across the globe. By the same token, more business travellers from Ethiopia and across Africa will in future benefit from the Star Alliance customer proposition: world-wide reach via the extensive network, seamless travel and status recognition through the frequent flyer programmes.

Ethiopian Airlines will add five new countries (Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Niger) and 24 new African destinations to the Star Alliance network, which will then encompass a total of 29 carriers, offering a choice of more than 21,380 daily flights to 1,196 destinations in 186 countries.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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