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Ethiopian Airlines says it plans to start flights to the city of Enugu, in south eastern Nigeria soon as part of its attempt to extend its flight destinations in Africa’s most populous country and West African Power house Nigeria.
Tewolde Gebremariam CEO of the air carrier said Ethiopian also has plans to fly to the southern central port city and oil hub of Port Harcourt as well as Northern Nigeria’s largest city Kano, while increasing the number of flight trips to Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, Nigeria. “We want more flights to Abuja because now Abuja-Addis-Asia and Abuja-Addis-Dubai-Bangkok-China is the best flight option for Nigeria bound passengers,” said Tewolde adding that Ethiopian would be pleased to add flights to the country where it has been flying for more than 40 years. It currently has nearly 70 international destinations out of which 43 are in the African continent, while there are 17 domestic flights it operates.
The national flag carrier has recently started flights to the Indian ocean island archipelago of Seychelles, Toronto in Canada, and Port Novo in Benin. It is also planning to start flights before the end of 2012 to Kuala Lampur, capital city of Malaysia, expected to start on October 31 and Brazil’s commercial hub Sao Paulo, its first Latin America route expected to be in December.
As part of Vision 2025 Ethiopian plans to operate more than 120 airplanes flying to 90 plus destinations internationally carrying over 18 million passengers and 710,000 tons of cargo per annum while employing more than 17,000 people.
Its 2025 vision’s overarching objective is to continue the scaling up of profitable and sustainable growth to enhance its profitability and technology to make its staff, customers and financiers secure.
Ethiopian got its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner named “Africa first” delivered at Bole International Airport on August 17, 2012, making it the first African air carrier to receive the aircraft.
The airline is expected to receive a total of five 787 Dreamliner aircraft before the end of 2012 and five more airplanes in 2014,