The African airline has seen steady growth in India and on its 45th anniversary of operations here, it has decided to invest further with flights to Chennai this year.
After recently completing 45 years of service to the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will expand its India operations further by adding Chennai to its network. Esayas Woldemariam Hailu, Managing Director (International Services), Ethiopian Airlines, said, “We are considering adding Chennai to our network in India soon. It is difficult to comment on the timeline. We don’t have an exact date yet but we want to keep it as a surprise for the travel trade.
This will be thrice weekly which will be upscaled to daily as the route develops. The aircraft for this route will be the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.” Ethiopian Airlines began its debut flight to Mumbai in December 1971 and has since increased its airlift to 28 scheduled weekly flights to Mumbai and New Delhi. The airline simultaneously celebrated its 70th anniversary of flying as well. On this occasion, it offered a 70 per cent on its Business Class companion fare and 45 per cent discount on its Economy Class fares for a week till February 10 was valid for travel originating from India for the rest of the year. Hailu added, “The travel trade has been a very good host and a very good partner to work with. To thank them and commemorate our anniversary in India, we gave them this great offer. Last year has seen very good growth for us. In terms of passenger increase, we saw a jump of 10-12 per cent. The fleet that we are operating in India right now is all new. We have the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as well as Boeing 777 with 400 and 320 capacities.”
Speaking about 2017, he revealed that the airline expects a continued growth from 10 to 15 per cent on a sustainable basis. “Mumbai was one of our earliest destinations and is one of our strongest markets in Asia today. We now want to diversify our market segment with more leisure travellers as we are working hard to promote Ethiopia as a tourist destination through our ‘Ethiopian Holidays’ arm. We will do some familiarisation trips for the travel trade to promote the destination. Ethiopia has nature, culture, history and wildlife, especially the central and the north parts,” he added.
“This will be thrice weekly which will be upscaled to daily as the route develops. The aircraft for this route will be the Boeing 787 Dreamliner”
-Esayas Woldemariam Hailu, Managing Director (International Services), Ethiopian Airlines