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IATA AGM 2013: Ethiopian eyes Singapore as gateway to Australia and broader partnership with SIA

6-Jun-2013 6:49 PM

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told (02-Jun-2013) CAPA on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting that the carrier is looking at launching services to Singapore in partnership with Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines (SIA). Ethiopian and SIA currently codeshare on the Singapore-Dubai-Addis Ababa route with SIA operating Singapore-Dubai and Ethiopian operating Dubai-Addis Ababa. The two carriers have discussed a broader partnership since Ethiopian joined Star in late 2011, including potential cooperation on nonstop services between Singapore and Addis Ababa. Mr GebreMariam met with SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong during the 2013 IATA AGM to further discuss Ethiopian’s plans for launching services to Singapore. He says the biggest challenge to making the planned Addis Ababa-Singapore 787 route viable is connections to Australia, explaining that Ethiopian has a planned landing time in Singapore in the late afternoon, which supports connections within Africa on the Addis Ababa side but does not work for quick connections to Australia. Mr GebreMariam says the broader SIA partnership would include SIA placing its code on Ethiopian’s new Singapore service and Ethiopian placing its code on SIA-operated flights to several destinations in Australia. Ethiopian could potentially access Australia via Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, which it already serves, but its preference is to flow Australia-Africa passengers via Singapore.