By Samuel Sanya |

International airlines operating from Entebbe are reaping from the recent exit of British Airways after 24 years. Officials at Ethiopian Airlines say they have realized a surge in US bond passengers; consequently, the Airline has launched a third daily flight between Entebbe and Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

Abebe Angessa, the Ethiopian Airlines’ manager for Uganda noted that incomes are rising in Uganda and Ethiopian which bodes well with their plans to increase the number of flights between the two countries.

“African airlines control only 20% of the traffic to and from the continent; there is a real opportunity for African airlines to expand right now as incomes rise.  With the third flight, we will be expanding our capacity by 30% to 500 passengers every day,” Angessa said. 

“In mid-November, we will be taking travel agents and players in the tourism sector on a familiarization tour to explore business and tourism opportunities in Ethiopia. We hope that this increases traffic between Uganda and Ethiopia,” he added.

Angessa explained that the third flight, which will depart from Entebbe at 1:05pm and arrive in Addis Ababa at 3:10pm is intended for Ugandans heading to Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Nairobi, Mombasa, and Khartoum.

Angessa revealed that the airline is also eyeing the Japanese market and has created an 8 day, $2,600 (sh9.1m) package for business and tourism fliers to Japan. He revealed that Ethiopian airlines plans to add at least 3 new routes every year; this rapid expansion has seen the airline win the rising career of the year award at a ceremony in Singapore.

Meanwhile, James Hogan, the CEO Etihad Airways says airlines need to collaborate more to drive change and give consumers the benefits they deserve in light of increasing competition in the aviation industry.

He was speaking at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Aviation Day in Abu Dhabi. He revealed that instability and conflicts around the Arab world  have deterred leisure flyers, in the process, this has eaten into industry revenues.

“Like rest of the industry we are not immune to these challenges, but collectively, as an industry, not in isolation, we can work towards finding solutions and come up with a framework that is both workable and competitively feasible.

“No airline can ever achieve scale of such proportions by going out alone. Business and leisure travelers are demanding. They want, and rightly so, choices in product, service, loyalty rewards, network, schedules, convenience and consistency.

“It is here that industry cooperation can be mutually beneficial and provide a win – win situation for all,” Hogan explained. He revealed that Etihad has raised $700m (about sh2.5 trillion) to grow its international business.

Source: New Vision
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