Sunday, September 16, 2012

► NIGERIA: Ethiopian to start Enugu; wants Kano, Port Harcourt and added Abuja frequencies too.

Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines (ET) is looking to start flights to the southern Nigerian city of Enugu, in addition to a planned expansion to Port Harcourt, Kano (northern Nigeria) and an increase in its Abuja flight frequencies, currently flown 5x weekly with the airline's Boeing 777-200LR.

No timetable for the intended flights has been published as yet, but when it does, we will keep you updated.

Ethiopian Airlines second B787 'ET-AOR'
Ethiopian Airlines second 787 'ET-AOR' begins a B1 flight. (Payne)

According to Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, the motivating factor in the increase in Nigeria bound flights is to promote Addis Ababa as a transit point on flights to the Far East:
“We want more flights to Abuja because now Abuja-Addis-Asia and Abuja-Addis-Dubai-Bangkok-China is the best flight option for Nigeria bound passengers,” said Tewolde adding that Ethiopian would be pleased to add flights to the country where it has been flying for more than 40 years.

In recent weeks, various international carriers - specifically Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY) and Turkish Airlines (TK) - were allegedly denied their requests to start/increase flights to Lagos, Abuja and Kano by Nigerian Aviation Minister Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi and instead told to look to Enugu as an alternative; a charge the Minister later refuted.