Ethiopian Airlines to revive the Air India Code Share Agreement

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Ethiopian Airlines plans to revive the Code Share Agreement with the Tata Group’s Air India, according to a senior official of the African airline. “The agreement was suspended just before the start of the Covid pandemic due to operational difficulties. However, we plan to revive it,” said by the Chief Commercial Officer Lemma Yadecha Gudeta.

Now, with markets opening again after COVID, the African carrier feels the time is right to resume the relationship with AI.

Air India isn’t the only Indian carrier Ethiopian has its eyes on. The airline wants to lure as many Indian passengers as possible for flight connections from its primary hub at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD).

The carrier is looking to create commercial partnerships with Indian low-cost carriers such as IndiGo and SpiceJet. Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines is also assessing the prospects of setting up its aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility in the country.

Around 90% of Ethiopian’s passengers traveling from India are transit passengers going further to the airlines’ African points, mainly to Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Zambia, among others. Its biggest destinations in India – Mumbai and Delhi – supply a steady flow of business and leisure passengers to the airline, and it wants to double down on that by having multiple codeshare options.

The airline currently offers passenger services to four Indian cities. Ethiopian also operates cargo flights to India and deploys its freighter aircraft to Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. The airline is next eyeing passenger services to Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, subject to permission from India’s Civil Aviation Ministry.
The carrier offers passenger services to four Indian cities – Mumbai (2x daily), Delhi (10x weekly), Bengaluru (3x weekly), and Chennai (3x weekly). The service to Bengaluru was started just before the onset of the pandemic, and flights to Chennai began recently on July 2nd. In fact, Ethiopian’s Chennai flight is the first and currently only flight connecting the city directly with an African destination.

Ethiopian Airlines has had a long association with India. The airline recently celebrated 50 years of uninterrupted service to Mumbai, debuting its flights to the city in December 1961. Its flights to New Delhi began even before, in 1966, just 20 years after the carrier was founded.

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