Etihad targets Ethiopia with initially 5 flights per week starting November


An Addis Ababa based source confirmed that Etihad, the national airline of Abu Dhabi, is set to commence flights between the UAEs capital city and Ethiopia later this year. The information obtained claims that Etihad will from November this year begin with five flights per week, reportedly using an A320 aircraft on the route, providing an additional airlink between Ethiopia and the UAE, which until now have been connected through Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates and Fly Dubai. The same source also mentioned that plans to go daily would be implemented some time in 2013, depending on the uptake of the new flights.
Etihad, like the two other major Gulf based airlines, besides low cost carriers Air Arabia and Fly Dubai, have in recent years rolled out an extensive Africa network to connect traffic from and to Africa via their hubs in the Gulf and pending aircraft orders will in coming months and years undoubtedly see increased competition on the continent between the Gulf giants and the leading African airlines such as Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and South African Airways.
Etihad has over the past year also acquired strategic stakes in Air Berlin, just under 30 percent, in Air Seychelles where the airline holds 40 percent and only recently a nearly 3 percent starting stake in Air Lingus, seemingly keen to find strategic partners to further roll out a global network to the benefit of their passengers. Watch this space.