Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY, a newly established airline based in Lome-Togo, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 24, 2008 at the Ethiopian Airlines’ Head Office in Addis Ababa.
The MoU, which takes effect immediately, covers the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two carriers in the areas of marketing, operations, maintenance, training, financing and management contracts. Moreover, the partnership, when fully implemented, means faster, convenient and more efficient air services for the customers.
Mr. Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian, and Mr. Gervais Koffi Djondo, ASKY’s Chairman of the board signed the MoU in the presence of Mr. Christian E. Folly-Kossi, Secretary General of African Airlines Association and other executives of the two airlines. The MoU includes a detailed roadmap for ASKY to start its operations by December, 2008
Mr. Girma revealed that “Ethiopian has been engaged in the process of identifying a hub in West Africa in order to serve the region better and connecting it to the rest of the world.” He added that, "Following our successful operations and management of the Addis Ababa Hub, we are now determined to build Lome as the second largest hub in Africa for Ethiopian."
This MoU is an important move marking an historic intra-African co-operation in the airline business. The MoU will pave the way for the two carriers to develop a West African hub for the regional and inter-continental routes. The West African region is one of the highest growing economies in the world due to the prevailing high commodity prices.
Mr. Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian, and Mr. Gervais Koffi Djondo,
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. Its equity ownership includes the private multinational ECOBANK and the two 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. Ethiopian Airlines will own a 20% stake in the start-up airline, ASKY.
In 1960 Ethiopian, for the first time and single-handedly, pioneered air services to Ghana, thereby cementing the cornerstone for Africa’s uninterrupted East-West connections. The establishment of a hub in West Africa through the signing of the current partnership agreement marks the beginning of yet another milestone in the history of commercial aviation in Africa. It is also a proud testimony for Ethiopian’s dedication and commitment to its customers and Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated its operations to Togo in 1989. At present, it flies to Lome four times weekly.
Ethiopian Airlines, www.ethiopianairlines.com, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. The airline currently serves 50 destinations around the globe, 30 of which are in Africa. The addition of service to Kuwait in July 2008 will bring the total number of Ethiopian’s international destinations to 51.
In 2006 and 2007 Ethiopian was the proud recipient of awards for the African Airline of the Year 2006, Africa Business of the Year 2007 and Ghana Business and Financial Award 2007 from the African Aviation Journal, the African Times/USA and the Government of Ghana respectively for its outstanding performance in the commercial air transport industry.
Ethiopian will be the first carrier to operate the 787 Dreamliner in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.