Friday, June 7, 2013

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): Ethiopian to establish its Central Africa hub in Kinshasa - Gebremariam.

In a continuation of our previous post that speculated on a potential hub being established in either Congo Brazzaville or Congo Kinshasa, Ethiopian Airlines CEO has gone on record as saying his airline will establish its Central African hub in Kinshasa.

Kinshasa N'djili
Kinshasa N'djili Airport
Speaking to Bloomberg business newswire during the recently ended IATA AGM in Cape Town, Mr Gebremariam said the establishment of a hub in Kinshasa would secure transfer traffic amid growing competition from Middle Eastern operators, Turkish Airlines (TK) in particular who, in addition to being granted extra frequencies to the Congolese capital, are also rumoured to be partnering the Congolese government in the establishment of a new national carrier set to replace LAC Lignes Aériennes Congolaises (4V).
We’re planning to cover the continent,” the executive said in Cape Town, where he was attending the International Air Transport Association annual meeting. “That’s becoming more urgent as demand attracts competition from the Gulf. But we think Africans will use African airlines of they can.
Source [Bloomberg]

Congo is the favored location for a subsidiary that would seek to attract travelers from across central Africa, following on from bases in Togo in the west and a tentative one in either Malawi or Zambia in southern Africa. West African subsidiary ASKY Airlines (KP) is also in the process of expanding its continental footprint with news that it is planning to add Angola, South Africa and even Europe in the coming years.

Mr Gebremariam went on to add that the exact location of the bases is less important than the regional markets they give access to.