IATA AGM 2013: Ethiopian targets West African connections with new Brazil service
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told (02-Jun-2013) CAPA on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting that the carrier expects limited local traffic on its new Lome-Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Lome route. Mr GebreMariam acknowledges there is limited demand for services between Brazil and Togo. But he says the new Brazil flight is being timed to connect with services from Togo to several other West African countries including Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Guinea. These markets are being targeted as they have higher demand for services to and from Brazil. Ethiopian’s Togo-based subsidiary ASKY Airlines currently connects about 20 destinations throughout West Africa from its hub in Lome. But not all of these destinations will be targeted for connections in the fast growing and under-served West Africa-Brazil market because most of ASKY’s routes are low frequency, making connections to all destinations impossible. Ethiopian plans to launch three weekly 787 flights on an Addis Ababa-Lome-Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Lome-Addis Ababa rotation on 01-Jul-2013. Mr GebreMariam says Sao Paulo is a much bigger market than Rio de Janeiro for Africa and the circular routing is being pursued partially because of slot limitations in Sao Paulo.