787 Dreamliner to land for demonstration
Ethiopian Airlines is going to officially become a member of Star Alliance, the world’s first and largest airline alliance, in a ceremony that will be attended by the 27 member airline CEO’s and other aviation officials from around the world by December 13, 2011.
The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world’s leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and United Airlines. The five-point star logo of Star Alliance represents the five original founding airlines.
The creation of Star Alliance was a milestone in airline history because of its size. However it sparked the formation of rivals, notably SkyTeam and Oneworld.
Wegayehu Terefe Public Relations Manager of Ethiopian Airlines told Capital that the airline is preparing for the ceremony and is trying to facilitate a day for all member airlines CEO’s to attend the event.
On 29 September, 2011 the Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance that is based in Germany approved Ethiopian Airlines’ application for membership, with the airline to become the 28th member. Upon admission, expected in December 2011, Ethiopian will add to Star Alliance’s network five new countries and 24 un-served destinations. As of September 2010, Star Alliance flies to 1,172 airports in 185 countries, with approximately 21,230 daily departures with a fleet of 4,335 aircrafts.
In order to become member, airlines must comply with the highest industry standards of customer service, security and technical infrastructure.
Wegayehu added that the airline will celebrate the event lavishly as it is another milestone in their endeavor to become world class airlines.
Star Alliance members carried a total of 648.54 million passengers with a turnover of 158.8 billion dollars. The alliance’s market share is 28 percent of the global market, which is greater than the combined market share of all airlines that are not in any of the three major alliances.
Members of any Star Alliance frequent flyer programme (FFP) can collect and redeem miles, kilometers or points on any member carrier.
Meanwhile the much awaited Boeing 787 Dreamliner is expected to make a demonstration flight to Addis Ababa around the same time the Star Alliance member airline CEOs meet here. According to sources, the Dreamliner is scheduled to arrive on December 12 and return on December 14. The national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines is also expecting to receive Africa’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft by next year.
Ethiopian is expected to deploy the aircraft on its growing focus routes between Africa and Asia.