Ethiopian Airlines is set to commence new flight services to another West African destination – Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso – effective October 26, 2008.
With six weekly flights, Ethiopian will link Ouagadougou to its main hub at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and, hence, to all the major capitals of Asia, as well as the cities throughout Africa. The carrier now provides services to 31 cities in Africa and to a total of 51 international destinations spread around the globe via its hub at Addis Ababa.
One of the largest and fastest-growing airlines in Africa, Ethiopian started connecting African people since its maiden flight to Cairo, Egypt on April 8, 1946. The airline has steadily grown to become a reputable African airline with wide coverage of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the USA.
The entry into Burkina Faso further entrenches the carrier in West Africa, where it is already the lead operator of West to East African routes. Its main competitor on the routes to East Africa and Asia is the Nairobi-based Kenya Airways.
Ouagadougou is the capital and the largest city in Burkina Faso and is known as the center for the yearly African Film Festival events. The city also has food processing and textile industries.
Ethiopian will operate Boeing 757-200 aircraft to Ouagadougou, offering a total capacity of 160 seats – 16 in Cloud Nine and 144 in Economy. Ouagadougou will be served every day except Saturdays, the airline said in a statement.
The new flights will offer direct connections via Addis Ababa to Ethiopian’s vast network across the globe among which are: Bangkok, Brazzaville, Beijing, Beirut, Bombay, Bujumbura, Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Delhi, Dubai, Entebbe, Guangzhou, Harare, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Juba, Khartoum, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Kinshasa, Lilongwe, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, Nairobi, Paris, Tel Aviv, Washington DC and Zanzibar.
“The new direct routings will save hours of current flight options for passengers going to or from Ouagadougou. For example, the new Ouagadougou-Dubai connection will be 3 hours and 45 minutes faster than the current same-airline option,” the airline’s officials said.
To celebrate the opening of this new destination, Ethiopian has introduced special fares from Ouagadougou to selected cities in Africa (Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam) and to selected cities in Asia. In addition, members of Ethiopian Airlines’ ShebaMiles program who travel Ouagadougou-Addis Ababa or Addis Ababa-Ouagadougou through December 26, 2008 will earn 2,500 bonus miles each way.
The carrier recently won the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace and continued contribution towards the growth of African aviation industry. Ethiopian will be the first carrier to operate the 787 Dreamliner in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Earlier this year, Ethiopian Airlines launched codeshare flights with Lufthansa German Airlines. These flights operate on the Addis Ababa-Frankfurt route. “The new code-share agreement marks a significant landmark, as we are now in the position to offer our customers daily connections from Addis Ababa to Lufthansa’s hub in Frankfurt with convenient onward flights,” noted Mr. Tewolde G.Mariam, chief operating officer of Ethiopian.
Effective March 30 this year, the two carriers jointly provide daily frequency on the Addis Ababa-Frankfurt route. Before the agreement was signed, Ethiopian provided three weekly services from its home base Addis Ababa to Frankfurt on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, while Lufthansa flew to Frankfurt four times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays).
Mr. Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, and Mr. Wolfgang Mayrhuber, chairman and CEO, Lufthansa German Airlines, signed the main agreement on June 2, 2007 in Vancouver, Canada and various operational agreements were signed subsequently to facilitate the implementation of the codshare agreement.
“The new code share agreement will further strengthen Ethiopian’s position in Germany and other European markets by creating additional possibilities to access traffic through the extensive network of Lufthansa,” said Mr. Wake, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. He added that the agreement paved the way for Ethiopian to further strengthen its cooperation with Lufthansa and other Star Alliance member airlines.
Ethiopian has been partnering with LSG Lufthansa Service, the world’s biggest airline caterer and provider of integrated, in-flight solutions.