By Samuel Getachew
Lufthansa, one of the most recognized airlines in the world and the first European airlines to fly to Addis Ababa is on the verge of launching its non-stop flight to Frankfurt this year. The first non-stop flight is to commence in October as the Germancarrier is readying itself to celebrate its 50th anniversary of service to Ethiopia.
Until now, the airline has been operating its frequent flights via Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For Lufthansa, the improved service is a strategy to shorten the total time and complement Ethiopia airlines codesharing flights, as multinationals travelers continue to travel to Ethiopia as investors and tourists.
“We have a long-lasting relationship with Ethiopia that is approaching half a century”, said Tobias Ernst, the General Manager Sales, Regional East Africa Lufthansa Group. “The new flights will not only make international travel more convenient for our valued customers but will complement our cooperation with Ethiopian, our Star Alliance colleague member, whose mutual relationship and interest with us remains intense and strong”.
Lufthansa German Airlines has been operational in Ethiopia through its uninterrupted service since 1969 and was the original member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airlines alliance group, which Ethiopian became its first African member in 2011.
“The announcement of Lufthansa to operate direct flights (non-stop) between Frankfurt and Addis is a positive development. It increases the attractiveness of this route especially for business and customers by reaching Addis Ababa in less than seven hours and, subsequently, other African capitals through the is regional hub in less time”, Benjamin Hanna, the spokesman of the German Embassy, Benjamin Hanna, spokesman of the German Embassy said.
“Bearing in mind that Germany’s largest airline has been operating flights to Ethiopia without any interruption since may 1969 and given its strong partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, not least through Star Alliance, the Embassy welcomes this step and hopes that this important partnership between our two countries will be further strengthened”, he added.
Both airlines have complemented their services as Ethiopian has continued to show strong growth with extensive flights within the African continent while Lufthansa flies to over 100 nations and 343 destinations worldwide, specifically in Europe and North America, including frequent flights to Washington DC that has the largest concentrated Ethiopian immigrants in the United States.
Lufthansa plans to use an Airbus A340-300 to Ethiopia with 221Economy class, 28 Premium Economy and 30 Business class seats. With its strategic Star alliance partner, Ethiopian, it aims to offer a slew of mutual benefits to its clients.