Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB) unanimously approved (29-Sep-2010) the application of Ethiopian Airlines to join Star Alliance, with the carrier expected to become a member within the next 12 months. Ethiopian Airlines will become the third Star Alliance member carrier on the African Continent, joining EgyptAir and South African Airways. Star Alliance stated the acceptance of Ethiopian Airlines is an integral part of its Africa strategy, with Africa forecast to have the second highest growth rate in air traffic over the coming years. The integration teams of Ethiopian Airlines, mentoring carrier Lufthansa and Star Alliance will begin their work shortly, with the aim of completing the membership process within the next 12 months. Ethiopian Airlines will add five new countries (Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Mali and Niger) and 24 African destinations to the Star Alliance network, which will then encompass a total of 29 carriers, offering a choice of more than 21,380 daily flights to 1,196 destinations in 186 countries. [more - Star Alliance] [more - SAS]
Star Alliance: "On behalf of the Chief Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to invite Ethiopian Airlines to join the Star Alliance network. Ethiopian’s extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travellers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets. Moreover, we will in future have three main hubs in Africa – Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg – allowing for an ideal access to the continent from either the North, Centre-East or South", Jaan Albrecht, CEO. Source: Company Statement.
Ethiopian Airlines: "We are happy and honoured to be invited to the big family of airlines. Ethiopian will definitely enhance Star Alliance’s global network. Our long experience in the Africa market, coupled with our strategic hub Addis Ababa, and the recently created Lomé hub will allow Star Alliance members to access many new markets in Africa. Together, we can offer our passengers more convenient flight schedules, greater flight frequencies, a larger network and more on-line connections. All these features improve the quality of the service available to our customers", Girma Wake CEO.