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Ethiopian Airlines – Reflecting the tenacious spirit of Africa
June 19, 2018, 9:57 am
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As a continuation of the interview featured in the special supplement on summer travel, The Times Kuwait had the opportunity to sit down with Samson Arega, Area Manager-Kuwait, for Ethiopian Airlines to learn more about an airline that is undisputedly the leading air-carrier on the African continent.

We began by asking him about Ethiopian Airlines and its operation.

“Ethiopian Airlines is the unstoppable aviation giant in Africa flying to more than 110 international destinations across five continents. We cover 58 African cities with a direct service, which is even more than the number of countries on the continent. Established 72 years ago, the fully government-owned airline’s hub is in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, with two additional strategic hubs in Lome, the capital of Togo and in Malawi.

Operationally, Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet. Our fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Boeing 737-800 and the Bombardier Q-400 double cabin, with an average fleet age of five years. In fact, we are the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft.”

What are the benefits of your loyalty program?

“Our Loyalty program which we call ShebaMiles serves to reward our frequent flyers equitably through the accrual and redemption of Miles. These Miles can be redeemed for flights, upgrades and other variety of rewards that can be also used on our partner Airlines as we are a member of the largest Airline Alliance, Star Alliance. ShebaMiles offers four tiers levels – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – each tier provides members with exclusive benefits ranging from priority boarding, extra Baggage Allowance to free upgrades and we encourage all our customers to become a member of our loyalty program and enjoy the benefits across the globe.”

Your Cargo Business is believed to be number one in African, can you tell us about Ethiopian Cargo?

“It is a profound privilege for us to offer our esteemed customers an efficient global Cargo Service. As we always say, Your cargo is in good hands! Ethiopian is the largest cargo network operator and one of the major global cargo players, serving 44 global freighter destinations with 8 dedicated freighters including 6 Boeing B777-200LRF and 2 - Boeing B757-260F from our main hub in Addis Ababa and Liege, Belgium and with an average daily uplift of 650 tons on top of the belly capacity, 150 tons, to over 95 destinations globally.

Ethiopian operates in major trade lanes between Africa and Europe, Middle-east and Asia providing a convenient and reliable cargo service to and from the continent. Currently, with our new Cargo TerminalII combined with our existing Terminal-I will give us a total tonnage capacity of around 1.2 million per annum, which is the largest in the continent of Africa. Our new Cargo terminal will make Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services one of the world’s largest cargo terminals; comparable with cargo terminals in Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi, or Hong Kong. At Ethiopian, use of latest information systems is not an afterthought; hence we are automating the entire cargo business process with one of the best Cargo IT systems (Cargo Spot, Champ) with the aim of providing efficient air cargo services within, to and from Africa.

Our Cargo Services is equipped with the latest technologies for data, information and market intelligence with 100% e-AWB from its main hub in Addis Ababa and recorded 60.8% international e-AWB penetration while industry average is only 48.9% per IATA e-AWB penetration report of December 2016. This move is part and parcel of the airline’s entire effort towards becoming a paperless industry by adopting the latest aviation systems and technologies.

The Airlines has won multiple Awards in recent years, tell us about them?

“Yes, Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline. On November 8, 2017, SKYTRAX, the most prestigious international air transport standards and quality rating organization, has certified our Airline as Four Star Airline. SKYTRAX has also awarded Ethiopian as SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline Staff in Africa, two times, and earlier in 2017 we have received SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline in Africa. We are currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with 120 international and 26 domestic destinations with a revenue of over $10 billion, which we are already exceeding the targets set.”

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