ETHIOPIAN Airlines is cosying up to Star Alliance partner Air India as it expands in India with additional frequencies on existing routes and ponders a new service to Chennai.
In India last month for a Star Alliance meeting, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said: “More than 600 Indian companies have invested in Ethiopia and a large Indian community lives there so it offers a lot of opportunity to us.
“We are considering direct flights between Chennai and Addis Ababa for the summer 2015 schedule, and expect to start double-daily frequencies for the New Delhi-Addis Ababa and Mumbai-Addis Ababa sectors in 1H2015.”
The airline will also extend its codeshare agreement with India’s national airline, Air India, to include other African destinations such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, and Indian cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
Ethiopian Airlines already codeshares on flights from New Delhi and Mumbai to Addis Ababa, and is 5ecording 75 per cent loads on Indian routes.
Commented Subhash Goyal, chairman, STIC Travel Group: “The traffic from India to Ethiopia has been predominantly business. However, there is a good potential to promote the destination among Indian leisure tourists looking to explore newer places.”