ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – September 29th, 2010 – Star Alliance, the way the Earth connects, today announced that the Chief Executive Board (CEB) has unanimously approved the application of Ethiopian Airlines to join Star Alliance.
"On behalf of the 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 in Africa – 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.
"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 Lomé 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.
Ethiopian Airlines will become the third Star Alliance member carrier on the African Continent, joining EGYPTAIR and South African Airways.
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 and creating better business climate 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.
The integration teams of Ethiopian Airlines, mentoring carrier Lufthansa and Star Alliance will begin their work shortly, with the aim of completing the membership process within the next 12 months.
Ethiopian Airlines will add five new countries (Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Niger) and 24 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.
About Star Alliance
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Air India and Ethiopian Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers over 21,200 daily flights to 1,172 airports in 181 countries.
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 Pointe Noire, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 37 cities in Africa and a total of 58 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 honoured 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.