Thursday, May 23, 2013

■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian set to become Africa's first pan-global carrier - report.

Ethiopian Airlines (ET) could well become Africa's first Pan-Global carrier having already realised its initial goal of being the continent's first truly Pan-African airline. In an interview with industry standard, Airline Weekly, CEO Tewolde Gebremariam set forth his airline's future expansion plans which include the possibility of hubs in the West Coast of the US and a direct Mozambique - Brazil route amongst others.

Regarding plans for Africa, Gebremariam stated that Ethiopian would proceed with its previously outlined objective of establishing hubs throughout the continent namely in:
Ethiopian Airlines DC6
Ethiopian Airlines DC6B
Regarding plans for North America, Gebremariam stated that, given the good loads the airline had seen on its Toronto and Washington flights, a possible further push into North America was being considered with potential hubs in either San Francisco or Los Angeles being considered; LA appeared the stronger potential market of the two as it has the highest concentration of expat Ethiopians in the region.

Regarding South America, Gebremariam stated that flights to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, set to début with 787 flights in July, will be a means of "testing the waters" via its Lomé hub with even the possibility of direct flights being considered should market demand prove strong enough. ET is developing its South American network with primarily West Africa in mind. Reference Nigeria's Arik Air's pending entry into the market.

Following on from that, and most surprisingly of all, is the revelation that Ethiopian have been granted rights by the Mozambican government to operate flights between Mozambique and Brazil (Reference Brazil's pending ratification of a new BASA with Mozambique).