Ethiopian’s long awaited visionary goal to create a West African hub has come to reality with the birth of ASKY, a newly-formed community airline based in Lome, Togo. Its maiden flight from Lome to Abidjan and Banjul on January 15, 2010 heralds the opening of a new hub in West Africa for both ET and ASKY.
To commemorate this successful launch, a festive inaugural ceremony was held at Lome International Airport on January 14, 2010. This event was attended by H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of the Togolese Republic, H.E. Mr. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Board Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Girma Wake, the Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Gervais Koffi Djondo, Board of Directors Chairman of ASKY, and many other senior government officials of the Togolese Republic.
H.E Mr. Seyoum Mesfin said "Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY have entered into a unique form of business partnership and alliance to fill the void created by the absence of sufficient air transport service across many nations of the continent particularly in the central and west African region."
ASKY chairperson of Board of Directors, Mr. Gervais Koffi Djondo, in his part said, "Ethiopian Airlines has remarkably contributed for the realization of ASKY. Ethiopian, which is the leading and exemplary carrier in Africa, has played significant role to commence ASKY's operation as per the schedule."
Ethiopian Airlines is a major shareholder in ASKY and has a management contract to manage and operate its services. ASKY’s equity ownership also includes the private multinational ECOBANK and the major development banks of the region, namely EBID, the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Bank of Investment and Development, and BOAD, West African Development Bank.
ASKY is a multinational private airline initiative geared to meet the growing demands for safe, reliable and competitive air transportation services in Central and West Africa with new-generation aircraft. ASKY’s initial operations will cover 12 African destinations. The operation will, in due course, expand to include Europe, North America and Asia.
The establishment of ASKY is a historic move cementing intra-African cooperation in the airline business.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the recent addition of flight services to Mombasa and Monrovia, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 35 cities in Africa and a total of 56 international destinations spanning throughout four continents.
Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 on November 25, 2009 and “Airline of the year award” from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) on November 24, 2009, bringing the total Awards honored since January 2009 to five.
In August, 2008, Ethiopian won “the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award” of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry.
Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.
Ethiopian was the winner of the ‘2008 Best Airline in Africa Award’ at the African Travel Award ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, for its excellent network and convenient connections in Africa.