Sept. 12, 2010
-- Ethiopian Airlines is seemingly finish discussions and negotiations with Star Alliance and is going to announce the news of the completion in 2 weeks time.
These suggestions and rumors were rekindled since the airline has confirmed added aircraft orders and is aggressively renewing its fleet in preparation of things obviously yet to come. The airline’s Fokker 50 fleet is being replaced with more modern and larger Bombardier Q400s, with delivery of the first such aircraft reported here last week, and extra B737-800s are due to join the fleet from the middle of 2011 onwards.
More wide bodies are also on order, such as the Airbus A350 – 12 on order – the B777-200LR - 5 on order – and the long-delayed but now back on track B787 Dreamliner – 10 on order. The new aircraft, when delivered, will allow Ethiopian Airlines to retire their aging fleet of B767s, which have been a workhorse on the long-distance network.
Star Alliance will be getting a shot in the arm for their global traffic into Africa, and the geographical position of Ethiopian Airline's home hub of Addis Ababa will further strengthen Star’s competitive efforts to grab the lion’s share of traffic in, out, and across Africa, considering that they already have Egypt Air and South African Airways flying under their banner and covering the different regions of the continent. In fact, Ethiopian Airlines will be bringing an added component into play, considering that they manage an airline in Togo in which they hold a 25 percent stake and which could be very useful in capturing yet more traffic from west Africa into the Star Alliance network. Since the collapse of Air Afrique, in which almost a dozen countries from west Africa were involved, there has been a vacuum in that part of Africa and, the absence of a dominant and strong carrier will only aid Ethiopian Airlines' efforts to give their new west African "baby" added wings.
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