The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance has unanimously approved the application of Ethiopian Airlines to join the alliance.

The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance has unanimously approved the application of Ethiopian Airlines to join the alliance.

“On behalf of the Chief Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to invite Ethiopian Airlines to join the Star Alliance network,” says Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Star Alliance. “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.”

“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,” says Girma Wake,  CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “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.”

Ethiopian Airlines will become the third Star Alliance member carrier on the African Continent, joining Egyptair and South African Airways.

Ethiopian Airlines ordered five Boeing 777-200LRs on July 28, 2009, becoming the first African carrier to order the ultra-long-range 777-200LR. In 2005 Ethiopian Airlines was the first African carrier to order the Boeing 787, committing to 10

Market studies conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) show that Africa is forecast to have the second-highest growth rate in air traffic of any geographic region over the coming years, according to Star Alliance. Demand will mainly stem from economic growth made possible by increasing political stability and creating better business climate on the continent.

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.

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 and now has 28 member airlines. 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 made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the recent addition of flight services to Pointe Noire, Ethiopian provides services to 37 cities in Africa and a total of 58 international destinations spanning four continents.

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