ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES JOINS STAR ALLIANCE
Yesterday marked the long awaited entry of one of Africas foremost airlines, Ethiopian, which successfully concluded the process of alignments and harmonization required to become part of the worlds leading airline group, STAR Alliance as its 28th member.
The other member airlines were represented in Addis Ababa for the party, let by STARs CEO Jaan Albrecht, who put pen to paper to make Africas third member after Egypt Air and South African Airways finally a reality. It was his last function as STAR Alliances CEO as he will be leaving the group after seeing it grow to the worlds most powerful alliance in terms of flights and destinations over the past 14 years. He will join the Lufthansa Group as Chairman and CEO of Austrian Airlines, moving from the helm of the alliance to the sharp end of airline operations.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes also used the event to showcase their B787 Dreamliner to those who had travelled to Addis for the event, by coinciding the aircrafts arrival with the entry celebrations. Ethiopian Airlines will be Africas first carrier to receive the B787 Dreamliner after more than 3 years delays, and according to details available the first of 10 ordered aircraft will be joining the ET fleet by mid 2012.
STAR Alliances presence in Africa, from Egypt via Ethiopia to South Africa, covers the continent like no other and is seen as taking the fight for market shares in Africa to a new level by offering the most comprehensive network across the continent for travelers from around the world. This is further supported by Ethiopians West African joint venture with ASKY, leaving the KLM / Air France led SkyTeam in a distant second place and the BA / AA led OneWorld trailing in the far distance as far as flights to and across Africa are concerned.
Ethiopian Airlines fleet is now proudly displaying the STAR Alliance logo on all its aircraft, opening a new chapter for Ethiopian but also African aviation. Well done ET and many happy landings!