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Africa’s giant Ethiopian Airlines has become the third carrier in the continent to join the global network of carriers,
Star Alliance, as both embrace each other to benefit primarily African travelers where Ethiopian flies to more than 40 destinations and has earned a competing edge over regional and international airlines.
The addition of Ethiopian into the Star Alliance will help the carriers’ umbrella network to cover major commercial and diplomatic cities in Africa, which it previously was not able to particularly in East, Central and West Africa where Ethiopian is said to fare well, both parties agreed.
“In total the 16 Star Alliance member carriers serving Africa offer more than 750 daily flights to over 110 destinations in 48 countries on the continent, with Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg serving as the main hubs,” a statement said of the offers that travelers now enjoy coming to and from Africa with the Ethiopian addition.
Present earlier this week at the Bole Addis Ababa International Airport headquarters of the airlines, the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board has welcomed Ethiopian into the association.
“Today we have taken a large step forward in completing our Africa strategy,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance. “With Ethiopian Airlines now part of the Star Alliance network, we offer our customers the widest choice of flights connecting to, from and within Africa. Moreover, Ethiopian Airlines will bring the Star Alliance customer benefits to more markets across Africa, a region of the world in which air travel is enjoying steady growth rates.”
Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, currently implementing a fifteen year strategic plan evolving the carrier into a diversified aviation group, describes the occasion as a historic landmark for his airlines. “It is another historical milestone for Ethiopian to join this most prestigious and longest serving Alliance in the world. It is in line with our efforts to lay a strong foundation for the airline to achieve its vision 2025 objectives,” Tewolde said.
Egypt Air and South African Airways have previously joined the Alliance.
Ethiopian is the 28th member for the Star Alliance network which globally offers passengers more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,290 destinations in 189 countries.
“Through its Star Alliance membership, Ethiopian Airlines now offers its customers the benefits of being a member of a global airline alliance: world-wide reach via the extensive network, seamless travel and status recognition through the frequent flyer programmes,” Ethiopian stated.
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveler.
Adding more color to the past week’s celebration of Ethiopian addition to the alliance, the US manufacturer Boeing latest product Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its debut on African soil on 11 December 2011 landing at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
Ethiopian will be the first one in Africa to operate the aircraft with expected delivery of the aircraft by June. Ethiopian has ten B- 787 in order and this week announced a plan to place order for five more.