“Twenty percent of the market is carried by African airlines and 80% of the market is carried by non-African airlines,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “The market share has been declining for the last 20 years.”
Ethiopian Airlines is looking to fend off competition from South African Airways, the largest carrier by number of flights, according to FlightGlobal, EgyptAir, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways.
Tewolde told CNN that Ethiopian Airlines are expanding into West Africa with Togolese airline ASKY Airlines. They’re also doing business with Air Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Airways and have taken management of CEIBA International in Equatorial Guinea.
“Typically, they’re taking a minority stake or around 50%. They tend to go into these joint ventures with local partners,” said Oliver Clark, senior reporter at FlightGlobal.
The airline is looking to make the Ethiopian capital a transport hub, connecting other African countries without long-haul capacity with continents around the world.
“It’s trying to feed traffic from other African countries through Addis to then give them the connectivity to travel on to other continents, US, Europe and Asia in particular,” Clark said.
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