Ethiopian eyes DRC as hub


According to Gulf Times, Ethiopian Airlines has announced plans to add a hub in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in order to secure transfer traffic amid growing competition from Middle Eastern operators.

Ethiopian CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said the DRC subsidiary would seek to attract travellers from across Central Africa, following on from their bases in Togo in the west and Malawi in the south. The airline is building a system of African hubs to help win traffic beyond its headquarters in Addis Ababa, as economic growth and a mining boom spur passenger traffic across the continent.

During the International Air Transport Association annual meeting, GebreMariam told the gathering of airline chiefs in South Africa that local carriers should be seeking a 50% share of the continent’s international traffic, compared with the 18% that they currently control.

Along with gulf operators such as Emirates and Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines is seeing increased competition from Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines, which serves a host of African cities, including DRC’s Kinshasa.

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