(eTN) – The battle for the African skies is ongoing, as not long after Kenya Airways (KQ) added Juba to their African destination network – incidentally for some time already in the Ethiopian Airlines (ET) schedule – Ethiopian has now announced a new thrice weekly service to Pointe Noir in West Africa. Information received from Addis Ababa indicates that the airline will be using a B767 for the operation, providing both passenger and cargo space, the latter considered increasingly important for the transportation of palletized cargo, another hotly-contested business segment.
Ethiopian was the erstwhile pan-African airline, connecting the continent via Addis when no other airline was taking these routes very seriously and most were looking to European destinations. A large number of African countries granted ET 5th freedom rights in support of their efforts. However, over the past 10 to 15 years, other airlines, notably Kenya Airways, have also embraced a growing African network to feed traffic into their Middle and Far Eastern destinations from across the continent, and ET has seen KQ in fact overtake them, by albeit a narrow margin, in terms of numbers of African airports served.