Airlines losing traffic to Ethiopia on price, connectivity

International and domestic airlines operating in Nigeria are gradually losing passenger traffic to Ethiopian Airlines over the East African carrier’s relatively cheaper fares, easy connectivity and most recently, concerted efforts by the country at becoming

International and domestic airlines operating in Nigeria are gradually losing passenger traffic to Ethiopian Airlines over the East African carrier’s relatively cheaper fares, easy connectivity and most recently, concerted efforts by the country at becoming a one-stop-shop for tourists in Africa.
BusinessDay’s investigations show that an economy class return ticket to Dubai on Ethiopian Airlines, costs N161,408, while same goes for N260,534 on Emirates Airlines.
Furthermore, an economy class return ticket to London by connecting flight on Ethiopian Airlines, costs N159,840 it goes for N502,884 on British Airways, and costs N317, 767 on Etihad Airways.
Atlanta, which is also a frequent destination for Nigerians, costs N452,125 for a return flight, using Ethiopian Airlines. The same destination will cost a passenger N577,180 on British Airways and N505,330 on Emirates Airline.
The obvious price discrepancy gives the average Nigerian customer the choice to opt for relatively cheap African carriers, especially Ethiopian Airlines.
The airline, which is the most connected in Africa, with 54 African and 94 destinations worldwide, is further consolidating on its efforts at becoming the largest aviation hub in Africa, with the attraction of tourists and corporate businesses from across the continent to Ethiopia’s hospitality and tourism offerings.
The efforts at increasing passenger traffic have resulted in a growing preference of the airline by many Africans, especially Nigerians, for overseas trips and connection, and is further highlighted by a 17 percent increase in the number of passengers that used Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, between January and August 2016, with the airport’s capacity sitting at almost 6.2 million absolute airline seats.
The record is expected to increase this year, with many more Africans who are seeking cheaper destinations and venues for holiday and corporate meetings.
According to a study by Forward Keys, an outfit that studies global airline traffic trends, besides beating Kenya to become the regional hub in East Africa, Ethiopia is set to outdo Johannesburg this year in the overall volume of international travellers, as it relentlessly seeks to capitalise on its thriving national airline and airport infrastructure.
Ikechi Uko, a travel expert, said Ethiopian Airlines is one of the few airlines which operates to Dubai, the UK, European, Asia Pacific destinations, four destinations in America, China, and several others, except Oceania.
“Again, Ethiopian Airlines has one of the most modern aircraft operating into Nigeria, they fly the Airbus A350, which is among the latest aircraft in the world. They have about 16 Boeing 787, which are also the latest. Also, as an African carrier, the connections are shorter and because of the conversion rate, the fares are not as high as you will find in other currencies.”
Uko further explained that before now, European carriers had better equipment and better connectivity, but now African airlines have better aircraft and great connectivity, adding that Ethiopian Airlines is part of STAR alliance, which is the biggest alliance in the world.
“Most European countries just want to fly to Abuja and Lagos and collect Business Class and First Class monies but Ethiopian Airlines is willing to fly anywhere. They are willing to suffer losses. When Abuja Airport was closed, it was only Ethiopian Airlines that sacrificed to go to Kaduna, the alternate airport. People saw the sacrificial spirit and have decided to reward the airline by way of patronage,” he added.
Chioma Ogbonna, a business woman and frequent passenger of the airline, explained that the pan-African airline enables her connect many other destinations within a short period, shop and follow up on her other itineraries in a one-stop-shop.
“I prefer to connect flights through Ethiopian Airlines to Dubai, rather than taking a direct flight using other international airline because the fares are relatively cheaper and there are many other things I could buy from Addis Ababa, as a business woman,” she told BusinessDay.
Beyond cheap flights and easy connections, the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation is partnering key travel agencies and tour operators across Africa, including Nigeria, to lure tourists to their breathtaking historic and natural attractions.
According to Yohannes Tilahun, chief executive officer, Ethiopian Tourism Organisation, Ethiopia’s immense cultural, palaeontological and natural wealth is reflected in its tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most of any country in Africa, aside five other sites that are currently under consideration by UNESCO as Tentative World Heritage Sites.
From Aksum; the land of the Queen of Sheba, Gondar; the Camelot of Africa, Harar Jugol, Konso, Lower Omo Valley, rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Simien Mountains National Park add to the countries many attractions. The tourism CEO who assumed office early this year, said Ethiopia has exciting offerings for all classes of visitors, hence the concerted efforts at marketing them to the world, starting from Africa.
Currently, Ethiopia has taken her tourism campaign to Nigeria, with the recent launch of Destination Al Nejashi /Lalibela, its two foremost tourism destinations, targeted at Nigerian tourists.
With the collaboration of the Ethiopian Embassy, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Tourism Organisation and Motherland Beckons, their Nigeria partner and owners of La Campagne Tropicana Resort, Lekki Lagos, the tourism packages are already gaining ground with soaring patronage by Nigerians for the summer holiday.
Speaking on the increasing appeal of Ethiopian destinations, Wanle Akinboboye, president, Motherland Beckons, said promotion of tour packages to Al Nejashi and Lalibela was due to the strong attractions the two destinations have for many Nigerians.
Both Samia Zekaria Gutu, Ethiopian Ambassador to Nigeria, and Solomon Begashaw, general manager, Ethiopian Airlines, Nigeria, are keying into the efforts at wooing the whole of Africa to go beyond using the airline for connection to stopping over to see her tourist attractions.
While the airline maintains its cheap flights and plans to expand from four destinations in Nigeria to five, the embassy is promising hassle-free visa and eas-of-doing business for the Nigerian tourists and corporate visitors to Ethiopia.
If all the parties in the tourism campaign deliver accordingly, Uko thinks Ethiopia is likely going to be the most visited destination in East Africa, in the nearest future, while maintaining its position as Africa’s aviation hub.

OBINNA EMELIKE and IFEOMA OKEKE

businessdayonline.com

aseye.assenna@googlemail.com

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9 COMMENTS
  • Sunzuro July 22, 2017

    Bravo Ethiopian Airlines,
    Long, long ago, when we were lied and told by Arabs and their servants that “Eritrea is an Ethiopian colony” under Emperor Haile Selassie, the most competent and number one airlines in Africa, the Ethiopian Airlines, had about 20% of its employees from Eritrea,. and Asmara was the only second recruitment office in Ethiopia after Addis Ababa and its second hub.
    To date, there is no single aircraft pilot or air hostess in Italy though we were Italian colony for Fifty years nor is there a single Eritrean in the Arab world in this sphere, though our Arabic masters are the only true “friends” – aquwanin – we have
    Truth hurts a lot, doesn’t it?

  • Sunzuro July 22, 2017

    What hurts even more is that after 26 years of so called ‘liberation’, Eritrea is the only African country that does not have its own passenger air-crafts nor its own flag bearing national airlines..
    Such is the farce of the leadership of the Arab Wahabi and Emarites slaves in Eritrea..

    • k.tewolde July 23, 2017

      I thought they were Agaazian who took shelter under the gulf states jalabia to beat their counterparts down south by becoming an outpost for the Aramco conglomerate.Lets put things into proper perspective,today’s Eritrean rulers were the crusaders of the 70’s who drove their “Islamist’ opponents out of the field,how dare you call them ‘Arab Wahabi…..slaves’ it is an insult.A few years may have elapsed but the truth gazes down at us from the black and white picture hanging on the wall.

  • Nahon July 23, 2017

    “Long, long ago, when we were lied and told by Arabs and their servants that “Eritrea is an Ethiopian colony” under Emperor Haile Selassie”

    Sunzuro

    You don’t have to insult Eritreans if you chose to be an Ethiopian slave and feel good about it.
    I don’t think it will make any difference to anyone here, if you are an Ethiopian and feel proud about it,. Nobody will even notice that, but please stay within your limits.
    No need to pose as Eritrean either, unless you are one of those who are not sure of their identity.

    • k.tewolde July 23, 2017

      Nahon,I was trying to unscramble the egg of history that Sunzuro cooked on the pan for us to consume. Bon appetite.

      • Sol July 23, 2017

        Guys,
        Again this Sunzro is the same guy who was spreading hate via his comments and somtime ago he farwelled assenna complaining for deleting his racist comments but now he is back with new names but beating the same old drum that promotes the divide and rule tactics of the mafia regime.

      • Nahon July 24, 2017

        Brother k.tewolde

        Sunzuro aka Teclay is locked in a time capsule that dates back to Hailesellassie era. For him the Arabs are a disgraced race, Eritrean Muslims are ‘abeeds’ (slaves), Eritrea is a fake nation, “We burned our languages” ..etc.
        He could be an ‘Agazi’ supremacist, but surely someone who is living in the past.

  • THE TRUTH HEART July 24, 2017

    The truth heart. I was consuming for long the garbage history from childhood till recently that Eritrea is a colony of Ethiopia and the Amharas are the oppressors. Unfortunately, the real oppressor are the people who liberated us from brother and sisters of Ethiopian people. What is the price who paid to be free without freedom, independent country without freedom pf speech, no constitution, no freedom of movement from A to B , no right to decide your own life, no right to go to school on your choice, no right to access your account, no right to marry and to raise children , no right to be buried in your own country, no right to worship in the way you want to , no right leave the country…I can give you all no….for everything except worshiping PFDJ. I was born and raised in Ethiopia and fortunately I had possible opportunities what other Ethiopians had at that time. You may say , in Eritrea…in Eritrea as well young Eritreans had of course some difficulties within war zone area. However, without any exaggeration the Eritreans had much much better life comparing todays Eritrea. Business men Eritrean origin enjoyed all kind of right, students had choices to study in all colleges and universities, pilots in Ethiopian airlines in large number comparing 6% of the population of Ethiopia at that time. Medical doctors , engineers, accountants, economist , academicians, lawyer s etc were represented. What do we produce now? Refugees in large number, YPFDJ diasporas who have no clue , al lost generation who don’t know where they belongs , dancing in festivals and manipulated beyond repair. Ethiopia opened in 25 years 60 universities and colleges—we can talk about quality here. Ethiopian built 200000 houses , 100000 kilometre roads, more than 100 4-5 tars hotel , thousands schools, high ways, light train, railway lines , electric power supply from 1000MW to 10000MW. That is the truth we can’t deny. What do the mafia regime in Eritrea did in the last 26 years…INDA Korea…what else..They closed the only university, they cannot even supply water and electricity , bread, milk etc for the people even the time derg used to supply in that difficult time …after 26 years independent…where is the please the freedom…is that what you and your parent wantd for us and our children…There is no democracy in Ethiopia but there is a minimum standard of life . No you can call me Tigay, adgi, weyane agame, lost amiche …etc that is what you can deliver as lost individuals.
    An old woman asks her granddaughter YPFDJ: “Granddaughter, please explain PFDJ to me. How will people live under it? They probably teach you all about it in school.” “Of course they do, Granny. When we reach our goal the shops will be full — there’ll be butter, and meat, and TAFF . . . you’ll be able to go and buy anything you want. . .” “Ah!” exclaimed the old woman joyously. “Just like under Hailselasse and Derg time.

    • k.tewolde July 26, 2017

      THE TRUTH HEART, shame on me to call you names which I wouldn’t ,you stated what you feel and that is your right to feel that way,fact is some rotten apple made you feel that way,however,an Armani suit wearing dictator is not better than the sandal and habnero shirt wearing one or a nuclear warhead waving one from the one who blackmails his people with food coupons.You can’t compare apple to apple,it happens to be HGDEF is at the bottom of the rotten pile,HATTELLA GILLET,and in no way or shape represents the ideals what the Eritrean people fought for collectively.

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