• Chidozie Uzoezie

Ethiopian Airlines Eyes Commercial Tie-ups with IndiGo and SpiceJet

Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest and most profitable airline, is looking to enter into commercial tie-ups with two of India's biggest domestic low-cost carriers, IndiGo and SpiceJet, according to a report by Financial Express.

Speaking to Financial Express, Ethiopian Airlines’ Regional director for India Subcontinent Tigist Eshetu said “we have a code share agreement with Air India and SPA (Special Prorate Agreement) with Vistara. We are assessing and in communication with Spicejet and IndiGo for commercial tie-ups."

“Evaluation is currently in process at our head office for a possible set-up/tie-up with Indian authorities. There is interest from the Ethiopian side for enhancement in frequency and entry points. We believe the Indian side will also be on the same page as the boost in demand is from both sides.” she added.

The airline which already has a codeshare agreement with Air India and SPA deal with Vistara, is also evaluating the possibility of setting up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in India.

Ethiopian Airlines currently operates non-stop passenger flights to three destinations in India: Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The airline also operates cargo services to Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

India is one of Ethiopian Airlines strategic markets in Asia as well as one of the critical destinations for the airline’s passenger and cargo services. The carrier has been providing air connectivity between India and Africa for decades.

Ethiopian Airlines commenced scheduled flights to India in 1966 with services to Delhi from its hub in Addis Ababa. The airline started services to Mumbai in 1971 and launched operations to Bengaluru in 2019.

According to Eshetu, Ethiopian Airlines will launch three weekly flights to Chennai from July 2, using either a Boeing 737 MAX or Boeing 787, depending on market demand. Other Indian destinations being considered include Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

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