Ethiopian Airlines became (13-Dec-2011) the 28th member of Star Alliance on 13-Dec-2011. The Addis Ababa Bole Airport-based carrier is the third African airline to join the alliance, following EgyptAir and South African Airways. With the addition of Ethiopian Airlines, the Star network now offers a choice of more than 21,000 daily services to 1290 destinations in 189 countries. Through the membership, Ethiopian Airlines' ShebaMiles participants can now earn miles when travelling on any Star member carrier, with the collected miles counting towards achieving ShebaMiles Sliver Club or Gold Club status. All collected miles can be redeemed for services operated by any Star member carrier. Ethiopian will also begin participating in the various Star Alliance fare products as of 01-Jan-2012. Ethiopian was accepted as a member to the alliance in Sep-2010. [more - original PR Star Alliance] [more - original PR Sabre] [more - original PR] [more - original PR Ethiopian Airlines] [more - CAPA Analysis]
Ethiopian Airlines joins Star Alliance
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Africa's struggles continue as economies weaken and competition intensifies
Africa remains a region with huge untapped potential – as it has for many years. The long term outlook for growth is always bright, particularly if the Yamoussoukro Decision were to be implemented, bringing long overdue liberalisation.
Lufthansa and Etihad bedfellows - at last - but unions may make marriage a distant prospect
There can be no understating the symbolic change in mindset of Lufthansa agreeing to partner with Etihad. Lufthansa has spent the better part of a decade rallying against Gulf airlines to the press, lobbying in Europe's power corridors and seeking a range of aeropolitical measures to wind back new competitors. Etihad has been the prime target for its investment and ongoing top-ups in a range of European airlines including Lufthansa's home competitor, the failing airberlin. Despite that, it is not well known that the two have come close to a liaison before, suggesting that each sees an intrinsic logic in a relationship.
The partnership has potential to be more significant than Emirates-Qantas, Qatar-IAG or Etihad-AF-KLM. But for now it is limited in scope and caution should be exercised in extrapolating too far at this stage.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is seeking new growth platforms that sidestep the flagship business' uncompromising unions who would seemingly prefer a status quo that exists only in memory. Their support will be necessary if the partnership is to work and grow. Then Lufthansa, which has rallied the Star Alliance and JV partners against Gulf airlines, will need to explain its change of heart. For now Lufthansa will not partner on Etihad's beyond-Abu Dhabi network, a move that would embrace the fundamental business plan of Etihad and peers. That upside remains a matter for speculation.