Ethiopian Airlines consolidates presence in southern Africa

Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopian Airlines is strengthening its presence in southern Africa by opening two additional routes to Ndola, Zambia, and Blantyre, Malawi, as of tomorrow.

In a statement sent to The Reporter on Thursday Ethiopian said that it would commence trice-weekly flights to Ndola, Zambia, effective March 31, 2013.

Ndola, the third largest city in Zambia, is the industrial and commercial center in the copper belt province of the country. Ndola will be Ethiopian’s 45th African and the 72nd international destination. It will also be its second destination in Zambia next to Lusaka.

“We are proud to add Ndola to Ethiopian wide route network. It is a continuation of our efforts to achieve the goal of connecting Africa to the world by adding multiple points in Africa and serving the air connectivity needs of the continent,” Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian said.

Ethiopian said with the new service, passengers to and from Ndola will find convenient and hassle-free connection to destinations in Ethiopian wide route network such as Mumbai, Dubai, London, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Cairo and Beijing.

Ethiopian will also commence three weekly flights to Blantyre starting March 31, 2013.

Blantyre is the commercial and industrial capital of Malawi. It will be Ethiopian’s 44th destination in Africa and the second in Malawi next to Lilongwe.

“Ethiopian, as a flagship carrier of Africa, is pleased to add Blantyre to its wide route network and to offer passengers to and from the city the best possible connectivity through its Addis Ababa hub,” Tewolde Gebremariam said.

Passengers to and from Blantyre will enjoy smooth and hassle-free connections to destinations in Ethiopian route network such as London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Washington DC and Toronto.

The opening of the two routes will boost Ethiopian’s presence in Southern Africa. The management of Ethiopian has a plan to establish a regional hub in Zambia. The management is holding talks with the Zambian government on the possibility that Ethiopian will have its southern Africa regional hub in Zambia. Ethiopian is also bidding to buy a 49 percent stake in Air Malawi. Ethiopian has already been selected as the best bidder and started negotiation with the Malawi Privatization Agency on the stake acquisition.