The Stars are stretching their wings further into Africa following the approval of Ethiopian Airlines as the latest air carrier to join the Star Alliance.
The invitation into the group was accepted earlier this week marking Ethiopian Airlines the third country in the African continent to join the alliance after EGYPTAIR and South African Airways.
Both parties are expected to benefit from the recent alliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicting African air traffic to reach the second highest growth rate over the coming years.
Star Alliance Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albercht said the group is excited to welcome the latest member into the network of airlines and expects the newest recruit to open the alliance up to 24 new destinations.
“Ethiopian’s extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travellers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets,” Mr Albrecht said.
“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.”
Ethiopian Airlines will also welcome benefits including access to worldwide destinations as well as recognition through the frequent flyer programmes.
“Ethiopian will definitely enhance Star Alliance’s global network,” Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Girma Wake said.
“Our long experience in the African market couples 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.”
The integration is expected to take up to 12- 18 months and will make Ethiopian Airlines the 29th carrier to join the alliance.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J