Ethiopian Airlines mulls deeper commercial ties with India

Ethiopian Airlines, voted Africa’s top airline by both Business Traveller and Skytrax Awards, is considering a commercial venture with several Indian based operations.

One of Africa’s top carriers, Ethiopian Airlines, is reportedly exploring “commercial tie-ups” with domestic budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet, a company representative has said. This is on the back of its codeshare agreement with Air India, owned by Tata Group.

The airline also said would be considering prospects around setting up aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities on the subcontinent. Ethiopian Airlines currently operates non-stop passenger and freight flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

“India is one of our strategic markets in Asia and we have been providing critical air connectivity between India and Africa for decades. It is one of the critical destinations for the passenger and cargo services for Ethiopian Airlines,” Tigist Eshetu Ethiopian Airlines regional director for the Indian subcontinent was quoted as saying.

Recent changes

The past few months have seen Ethiopian Airlines undergo several changes, including a new CEO following the resignation of its Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, who stepped down for medical reasons in late March. On 24 March 2022, the Ethiopian Airlines board announced the appointment of Mesfin Tasew Bekele as the group’s new CEO.

In addition, Ethiopian Airlines, UTD Aviation Solutions and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) signed a tripartite MoU in late April around maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in line with The Brown Condor Initiative (BCI). The BCI is a joint initiative that was officially launched by UTD Aviation Solutions and AFRAA in May 2021.

“Ethiopian MRO Services, as the largest MRO service provider in Africa, is continuously increasing its capacity and expanding its reach to customers in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. We are pleased to sign this MoU with UTD and AFRAA as it is in line with our plan to increase our market reach and build our presence in North America and tap into the big potential market in the region,” commented Ethiopian Airlines’ newly-appointed Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew Bekele.

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