At a ceremony held at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on December 13, the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board has welcomed Ethiopian Airlines as the alliance’s third carrier based on the African continent.
“Today we have taken a large step forward in completing our Africa strategy,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Star Alliance. “With Ethiopian Airlines now part of the Star Alliance network, we offer our customers the widest choice of flights connecting to, from and within Africa. Moreover, Ethiopian Airlines will bring the Star Alliance customer benefits to more markets across Africa, a region of the world in which air travel is enjoying steady growth rates.”
With the addition of Ethiopian Airlines, the Star Alliance network in Africa grows to cover many of the continent’s major commercial and political cities, particularly in East, Central and West Africa. In total, the 16 Star Alliance member carriers serving Africa offer more than 750 daily flights to more than 110 destinations in 48 countries on the continent, with Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg serving as the main hubs.
“It is another historical milestone for Ethiopian to join this most prestigious and longest serving Alliance in the world,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO Ethiopian Airlines. “This day will remain colorfully marked in our history book. It is in line with our efforts to lay a strong foundation for the airline to achieve its vision 2025 objectives.”
With Ethiopian Airlines as a member, the Star Alliance network now counts 28 airlines, offering a choice of more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,290 destinations in 189 countries.
Through its Star Alliance membership, Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles participants can now earn miles when flying on any Star Alliance member carrier, with the collected miles counting towards achieving ShebaMiles Silver Club or Gold Glub status. All collected miles can be redeemed for flights operated by any Star Alliance member carrier.
In addition, all ShebaMiles Silver Club and Gold Club customers will receive the respective Star Alliance Silver and Gold benefits every time they travel on a Star Alliance member carrier.
By the same token, Ethiopian Airlines will be extending the alliance’s Silver and Gold benefits to status customers from all other Star Alliance member carriers when they fly on Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines will also participate in and sell the various Star Alliance fare products. On the corporate side, Ethiopia is an important destination for meetings and conventions, with its capital city Addis Ababa often being referred to as the “political capital of Africa”.
Addis Ababa is home to organizations such as the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. By participating in both Star Alliance Conventions Plus and Meetings Plus, Ethiopian Airlines will now be able to offer worldwide flight connections at special rates for delegates and participants.
On the leisure side, Ethiopian Airlines will begin participating in the various Star Alliance fare products as of January 1. The airline’s African routes will be added to the offer of the Star Alliance Africa Airpass, a special fare designed for those wishing to crisscross the continent by air.
At the same time Ethiopian Airlines will also become part of the Star Alliance Round the World fare, opening the airline’s network for globetrotters.