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- Bole International Airport
P.O. Box 1755
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Main hub
- Addis Ababa Bole Airport
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- Full Service Carrier
- Domestic | International
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- Joined Alliance
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LAM – Mozambique Airlines
South African Airways
Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines is the national airline of Ethiopia. One of the leading airlines on the African continent, Ethiopian Airlines serves more than 60 international destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, The Middle East, and North America, as well as operating an extensive domestic and international cargo network. Ethiopian Airlines became a member of Star Alliance in Dec-2011.
Location of Ethiopian Airlines main hub (Addis Ababa Bole Airport)
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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner was billed as a "hub-buster", an aircraft that would open new routes and allow passengers to fly non-stop in thinner markets rather than transfer via a hub. With the 787 approaching three years of service, how have airlines used the aircraft? Looking at routes planned for the northern winter 2014/2015 schedule, 17% of 787 routes have been launched with the Dreamliner. The remaining 83% have had the 787 replace or supplement an existing aircraft.
The 787 has had a difficult entry into service, with airlines intending to launch routes with the 787 but having to use other aircraft types as an interim measure. If we include such known examples of routes launched with an interim aircraft and later switched – often mere days or weeks later – to the 787, the share of 787 routes opened with the Dreamliner increases to 20%.
South African Airways (SAA) is planning to expand its regional international network further as the flag carrier reduces its focus on the domestic market and tries to turn around its highly unprofitable long-haul operation.
SAA is increasing capacity to several existing destinations in Africa and plans to launch more new regional international destinations by the end of 2014. SAA also still hopes to open a base in West Africa, which is a key component of the carrier’s new business plan and will enable several destinations to be served which would not be viable non-stop from Johannesburg.
SAA is also looking at growing its budget brand Mango in the African market through potential joint ventures. But the group expects Mango’s existing South African operation to focus mainly on the domestic market, which SAA views as becoming increasingly price conscious and therefore unable to support its mainline full-service product - with the exception of the two main trunk routes.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) is focusing on further expanding its partnership portfolio to provide a more comprehensive network and boost feed. New deals have been forged over the last six months with Air New Zealand, Asiana, EVA Air and Turkish Airlines as part of an ongoing initiative which is expected to generate more new or expanded partnerships by the end of 2014.
SIA has already more than doubled its codeshare segments over the last three years as it has added eight new partners and strengthened several existing partnerships. The group is now negotiating several more new partnerships while seeking opportunities to improve connectivity with existing partners.
In this analysis CAPA examines the increasingly important role partnerships are playing in SIA’s European, African and Middle Eastern networks. In a second part, to be published later this week, CAPA will focus on SIA’s need to rely more on partners to expand across the Americas.
Kenya Airways is planning major expansion of its Asian operation as the carrier rapidly expands and renews its widebody fleet. The flag carrier plans to launch two new destinations in China, Beijing and Shanghai, by the end of 2014 and add at least one destination in Southeast Asia in 2015.
Kenya Airways is taking delivery at the end of Mar-2014 of the first of nine 787-8s, all of which are slated to arrive by the end of 2015. The SkyTeam carrier is also taking delivery of two additional 777-300ERs in mid-2014. Its total widebody fleet will expand from 11 aircraft currently to 16 by the end of 2015, with almost all of the additional capacity being allocated to Asia.
Kenya Airways joins rival Ethiopian Airways in tapping surging demand in the Asia-Africa market. The carrier has improved the African connections available to its growing Asian passenger base by increasing frequencies through the utilisation of smaller aircraft.
Brazil’s Gol plans to begin codesharing with Aerolineas Argentinas in Mar-2014, finally moving to the implementation phase of a partnership which was initially forged in late 2011. The partnership will significantly improve the two carriers’ position between Argentina and Brazil, a large market now controlled by LAN and TAM parent LATAM.
For Gol, Aerolineas will become the low-cost carrier’s second two-way codeshare partner after Delta Air Lines. Gol has been carrying the code of several carriers for several years but until recently lacked the technology to sell on other airlines. It is now discussing potential two-way partnerships with several carriers, including TAP Portugal, as part of its new international strategy while looking at expanding its own network including to Africa.
For Aerolineas, the partnership is the carrier’s first in South America and results in significantly improved access to Latin America’s largest market. It supplements several codeshares Aerolineas has been working towards since joining SkyTeam in 2012.
In the first CEO panel at the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Amsterdam in Nov-2013, the heads of four airline companies from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe discussed their strategies towards China. With the centre of gravity in world aviation moving east, and China the largest market in Asia-Pacific, this is an express train that must be boarded before it becomes unstoppable.
While Ethiopian Airlines, IAG, Emirates and Air Astana have very different experiences and approaches, all agree that China represents a huge opportunity for air travel. Chinese airlines remain more focused on domestic markets than on international markets, but this is starting to change as demand for goods from Europe and America grows. This may lead to new developments in partnerships with international carriers.
Constraints on growth in air travel to and from China include cultural differences, traffic rights and visa restrictions. Concerning airport capacity, China is undertaking massive investment in infrastructure to accommodate expected traffic growth. This is a lesson that more than one of CAPA’s panellists would like their own government to heed.