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Ethiopian captain establishes domestic airline  Feb 02, 2009

An Ethiopian pilot, Captain Abera Lemi, has established a domestic airline, called Air Ethiopia, which will provide passenger and cargo, ambulance, charter, scheduled and non-scheduled flight services.

Capt. Abera, who used to work for Ethiopian airlines, established Air Ethiopia in October 2008. Air Ethiopia has acquired a 19-seater aircraft called Beach 1900 from an American aviation company with a lease-purchase agreement. The aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa today. The aircraft can fly as high 33,000 feet high and cruise at 600 km. per hour.

Air Ethiopia plans to provide passenger and cargo transport service, charter, ambulance, scheduled and non-scheduled flight services between Addis Ababa and regional towns.

The company will become operational after two weeks. The new airline will first start providing charter service (non-scheduled flight). Eventually, the company will acquire additional aircraft which would enable it to launch scheduled flights to major regional towns like Mekelle, Axum, Bahir Dar, Gondar and Dire Dawa.

Air Ethiopia has acquired an operation license from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. There are 27 licensed private airlines in Ethiopia and three of them are in operation. Suhura, Abyssinia Flight Services and Trans national Airways (TNA) are the three private airlines which are currently operating. However, all of them provide charter services. So far there is no private airline which provides a scheduled flight service. The national flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is the only airline that provides domestic flight services.

The airline business in Ethiopia is not yet liberalized. The Ethiopian Civil Aviation law prohibits private airlines to operate an aircraft which has more than 20 seats. The business is allowed only for Ethiopian only. Efforts are underway to liberalize the passenger flight service. The cargo flight service was liberalized in 2002

Ethiopian captain establishes domestic airline
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