We Will Continue To Operate Flights In, Out Of Nigeria——–Ethiopian Airlines
…Says Airline Open To Partnership With Domestic Carriers
Ethiopian Airlines, the largest and the leading Pan-African Airline has stated that it would not leave Nigeria despite the recent withdrawal by some airlines out of Lagos and Abuja.
This is just as the airline celebrates 70th anniversary of the airline’s operations.
Abelnewsng.com recalled Iberia and United Airlines pulled out of the country, while Emirates reduced its frequency from 14 frequencies to Lagos to seven and cancelled the four frequencies to Abuja.
The Country Area Manager Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Begashaw, said this while briefing a select aviation and tourism journalists in Lagos to mark the airline’s 70th anniversary today.
According to him, “Ethiopian Airlines wishes to inform its esteemed Nigerian passengers that it will continue its scheduled operations to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, despite the recent withdrawal by some airlines out of Lagos and Abuja.”
Begashaw stated that Ethiopian Airline as a veteran Pan-African carrier had always been the airline’s pride to serve its beloved continent; Africa , both in good and bad times, adding that the airlines presence in Nigeria dates back to the 1960’s, same time the Federal Republic of Nigeria got independence from foreign colonisation.
The Country Manager added that Ethiopian has been part of Nigeria’s historic growth and always considers itself a partner in the history and growth of Nigeria as a country.
According to Begashaw, “The management of Ethiopian Airlines wishes to clarify its stance of pursuing its operation to Nigeria and keep Nigerian travelers connected to five continents around the globe. As an indigenous Pan-African Carrier, Ethiopian airlines will remain with the Nigerian public in good and bad times like it has always done in the past 50 years. Ethiopian has been in the highs and lows of Nigeria; all through the crisis periods of Nigeria and also during the last Economic crisis, providing the link between Nigeria and the outside world there by showing its African solidarity. “
He continued, “We have no reason to go anywhere. What is happening is not first experience for Ethiopia and Nigeria. We don’t intend to reduce our frequency. We have come to stay. We are Pan African Airline. We want to bring Africa to the world.”
The Country Manager reiterated that currently, Ethiopian serves the Nigerian travellers from four Airports; Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano, adding that to reinforce its support to Nigeria , the airlines is offering to hire Nigeria pilots for its ever growing fleet of B777,B787,B737 and Dash 8 Q-400 aircraft, train more Nigerians in its aviation academy, which is the largest in Africa.
He posited that besides, Ethiopian Airlines had always served Nigeria with the best aircraft in its fleet like the A350 Airbus, B787 Dreamliner and the B777 wide body.
“In the Spirit of African brotherhood, Ethiopian Airlines does not wish to be in Nigeria only when the going is good, rather, make sacrifices along with Nigerians in this trying time knowing that Nigerians are resilient and resourceful and will soon come out of the temporary recession” He said.
Meanwhile, as part of its 70 years of existence, Ethiopian Airlines has extended free tickets to Nigerians, who liked Ethiopian Airlines Nigeria Facebook page.
On how Ethiopian Airlines has been able to consolidate when other airlines are leave the country as result of the Foreign Exchange (Forex) issue, Begashaw, said that the secret of the airline’s success is hinged on the dedication of staff and management, who according to him have been working assiduously to ensure the airline is where it is today.
He stated that the second reason why the airline had been growing rapidly is the absence of interference from the Ethiopian government in the management of the airline, adding that this has led to the success of the airline.
On aviation fuel, the Country Manager stated that it was a serious issue for airlines operating in the country but that despite the challenges of infrastructure at airports, which according to him is receiving attention, the airline has cordial relationship with the Nigerian authorities.
On the possibility of Ethiopian Airline partnering with any of the domestic airlines in Nigeria, he said that the airline was open and ready to collaborate with any local airline that is ready to do business with Ethiopian Airline.
He posited that 80 per cent Nigerian passengers are carried by non African carriers, adding that he would love to partner with any domestic airline to take part of the 80 per cent.