"On behalf of the Chief Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to invite Ethiopian Airlines to join the Star Alliance network. Ethiopian’s extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travellers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets. Moreover, we will in future have three main hubs in Africa - Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg - allowing for an ideal access to the continent from either the North, Centre-East or South", said Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance.

"We are happy and honoured to be invited to the big family of airlines. Ethiopian will definitely enhance Star Alliance’s global network. Our long experience in the Africa market, coupled with our strategic hub Addis Ababa, and the recently created Lomé hub will allow Star Alliance members to access many new markets in Africa. Together, we can offer our passengers more convenient flight schedules, greater flight frequencies, a larger network and more on-line connections. All these features improve the quality of the service available to our customers", said Mr. Girma Wake CEO Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines will become the third Star Alliance member carrier on the African Continent, joining EGYPTAIR and South African Airways.

The acceptance of Ethiopian Airlines is an integral part of Star Alliance's Africa strategy. Market studies, conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), show that Africa is forecast to have the second highest growth rate in air traffic over the coming years. Demand will mainly stem from economic growth made possible by increasing political stability and creating better business climate on the continent.

Through its future membership in Star Alliance, Ethiopian Airlines will gain access to the many markets across the globe. By the same token, more business travellers from Ethiopia and across Africa will in future benefit from the Star Alliance customer proposition: world-wide reach via the extensive network, seamless travel and status recognition through the frequent flyer programmes.

The integration teams of Ethiopian Airlines, mentoring carrier Lufthansa and Star Alliance will begin their work shortly, with the aim of completing the membership process within the next 12 months.

Ethiopian Airlines will add five new countries (Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Niger) and 24 African destinations to the Star Alliance network, which will then encompass a total of 29 carriers, offering a choice of more than 21,380 daily flights to 1,196 destinations in 186 countries.


Ends

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320