Ethiopian Airlines on Star Alliance horizon


Star Alliance’s CEO Jaan Albrecht gave the clearest indication yet that serious discussions were going on between the world’s leading airline alliance and Ethiopian Airlines, one of the potential additional African Stars after South African Airways and Egypt Air. Information had filtered slowly in past months from Addis that discussions were indeed ongoing, but the apparent volume of work towards compliance and meeting the stringent Star Alliance membership criteria may have delayed a formal invitation for some more time.

Yet, ET would undoubtedly add to the value of Star’s standing in Africa, being the erstwhile Pan African carrier and still almost matching Kenya Airways’ extensive Africa network, which the Kenyan airline developed over the past years with the aim to transport connecting traffic from across Africa via Nairobi.

A potential Star Alliance hub in the wider eastern African region would also put Sky Team on notice that their dominance so far in east Africa through the KQ/KLM/AF alliance in Nairobi would finally have to make do with a serious rival next door in Addis, which is less than two hours away from Nairobi and ideally placed in geographical terms to distribute Star Alliance traffic into the continent via Addis Ababa.