“Today we have taken a large step forward in completing our Africa strategy,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance.” With Ethiopian Airlines now part of the Star Alliance network, we offer our customers the widest choice of flights connecting to, from and within Africa. Moreover, Ethiopian Airlines will bring the Star Alliance customer benefits to more markets across Africa, a region of the world in which air travel is enjoying steady growth rates.”

With the addition of Ethiopian Airlines, the Star Alliance network in Africa grows to cover major commercial and political cities of the continent particularly in East, Central and West Africa. In total, the 16 Star Alliance member carriers serving Africa offer more than 750 daily flights to over 110 destinations in 48 countries on the continent, with Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg serving as the main hubs.

“It is another historical milestone for Ethiopian to join this most prestigious and longest serving Alliance in the world,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO Ethiopian Airlines. “This day will remain colourfully marked in our history book. It is in line with our efforts to lay a strong foundation for the airline to achieve its vision 2025 objectives.”

On a global scale, with the addition of Ethiopian Airlines, the Star Alliance network now counts 28 airlines, offering a choice of more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,290 destinations in 189 countries.

Through its Star Alliance membership, Ethiopian Airlines now offers its customers the benefits of being a member of a global airline alliance: world-wide reach via the extensive network, seamless travel and status recognition through the frequent flyer programmes. Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles participants can now earn miles when flying on any Star Alliance member carrier, with the collected miles counting towards achieving ShebaMiles Silver Club or Gold Glub status. All collected miles can be redeemed for flights operated by any Star Alliance member carrier. In addition, all ShebaMiles Silver Club and Gold Club customers will receive the respective Alliance Silver and Gold benefits every time they travel on a Star Alliance member carrier. By the same token, Ethiopian Airlines will be extending the Alliance Silver and Gold benefits to status customers from all other Star Alliance member carriers when they fly on Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian Airlines will also participate in and sell the various Alliance fare products. On the corporate side, Ethiopia is an important destination for meetings and conventions. Indeed, its capital city Addis Ababa is often referred to as the “political capital of Africa”. This stems from the fact that the city is home to organisations such as the African Union or United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. By participating in both Star Alliance Conventions Plus and Meetings Plus, Ethiopian Airlines will now be able to offer worldwide flight connections at special rates for delegates and participants.

On the leisure side, Ethiopian Airlines will begin participating in the various Star Alliance fare products as of January 01, 2012. The airline’s African routes will be added to the offer of the Star Alliance Africa Airpass, a special fare designed for those wishing to criss-cross the continent by air.

At the same time Ethiopian Airlines will also become part of the Star Alliance Round the World fare, opening the airline’s network for globe trotters.

Ends