Ethiopian Airlines looks to regional hubs in southern Africa

Uganda asks ET assistance in establishing new airline

By KaleyesusBekele

The management of Ethiopian Airlines is looking for regional hubs in central and Southern Africa. Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told The Reporter that his management was holding talks with the governments of Tanzania, DRC and Zambia on the possibilities of establishing regional hubs in those countries. An Ethiopian delegation last week left for Zambia to deliberate with the Zambian authorities on the possibility that Ethiopian could establish a regional hub in Lusaka. Ethiopia anticipates to use Lusaka as a southern regional hub. Currently Zambia does not have a national flag carrier.

Tewolde said his management team was also holding a preliminary discussion with the Tanzanian government officials. Tanzania has a weak national airline that only serves domestic customers. However, it has a successful private airline called Precision Air. Ethiopian is also exploring DRC. “We have an initiative in DRC. We are holding talks with a private airline there. The company has an operating license,” Tewolde said.

According to Tewolde, the government of Uganda asked Ethiopian to assist it in re-establishing a new national flag carrier. The country liquidated its national flag carrier in 2001. Another airline based in Uganda, East Africa Airlines, was not successful.

In the airline’s 15-year development strategy dubbed Vision 2025, Ethiopian plans to establish regional hubs in west, central and southern Africa. The airline has already invested in ASKY, a Togo-based private airline.



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