Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest and fastest growing airlines on the continent, is planning to expand its operations in India. The carrier is currently operating 28 weekly passenger flights in double dailies from Delhi and Mumbai to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. The airline also operates four weekly cargo flights to India.
“But we are planning to expand frequency and destinations in India. In addition to Delhi and Mumbai, we will have some more Indian destinations on our network very soon. It will happen this year,” said, Kirubel Shitahun, Traffic & Sales Manager – North India, Ethiopian Airlines. Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai are the likely destinations expected to come on Ethiopians’ India network, he informs.
With 55 destinations on its African network from its hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian boasts of the biggest market share for Africa out of India. “Because we have the best connectivity in Africa. Besides, Ethiopia is geographically located at the centre of the world and that means we can cover the whole world in 10 hrs flight, every direction. That is one of our competitive advantages. So we are the best in terms of offering connectivity to not only Africa but also the rest of the world,” Shitahun said.
With the largest network presence on the African continent to boast of, the airline has also positioned itself as the network carrier and is eyeing to grow its share of Indian traffic for its onward network from its hub in Addis Ababa. “We are dedicatedly working on growing network traffic. Ethiopian Airlines is the gateway for Indians to Africa. We have to cover whole of India by all means,” he said indicating the Ethiopian’s anticipated network expansion in the coming months will make it even more attractive to Indian passengers. Currently its primary access to passengers from other India cities is through codeshare with Indian Airlines. Both are also members of Star Alliance.
Ethiopian is the largest airline in Africa. With a fleet size of 100 aircrafts, the airline currently flies to more than 100 destinations worldwide including 20 domestic destinations and 55 destinations on the African continent where it boasts of the largest network presence. Outside of the African continent, Ethiopian flies to about 25 international destinations in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
The airline is also readying to commence operation to ten new destinations in the coming months, informs Shitahun. Earlier this week the airline announced to commence operation to Chicago, US from Addis Ababa from June 2, 2018. Chicago will be the fourth destination on Ethiopian’s US network. Los Angeles, New York and Washington are other destinations that Ethiopia currently flies to on its US network.