Gonzalo
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ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:27 pm

Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam says ADD could become a global connecting hub like Dubai.

He also said “Most of the growth [over the next 10-20 years] will come from emerging markets, notably the BRICs [Brazil, Russia, India and China], and if you draw a line between China, India, Africa and Brazil, [Addis] is strategically located right in the middle of the line ”.

Is he a little too optimist with this analysis ?? Or the basis to think that way are really there ? What do you think ??


( More on the interview here :

http://atwonline.com/news/other-headlines/ )

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jayeshrulz
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ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:38 pm

I think Ethopia needs to upgrade their infrastructure and attract tourism first.
And ofcourse, the current fleet of ET 767's and 757's are in pathetic condition. Trust me, Iran Air Maintains their 747's much better.

Edit. Spell check.

[Edited 2012-08-17 12:43:15]

[Edited 2012-08-17 13:14:30 by srbmod]
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MaverickM11
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ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Is he a little too optimist with this analysis ??

Yes. Ethiopia can never match Dubai's spending on infrastructure, so that's never going to happen. However, ET will be able to serve far more unique destinations and traffic flows than EK can in its current state, which I'd argue is much better than what DXB is doing.
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AA737-823
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ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:11 pm

But does the world NEED another connecting hub like Dubai? I mean, you're talking about an airline/airport with a fleet of 80 something A380s... I'm not even convinced the world NEEDS Dubai's capacity, much less that much over again at ADD!!!
 
aeroblogger
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:16 pm

Not only is ADD's infrastructure terrible compared to DXB, but ADD is also hot and high.
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MaverickM11
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:33 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 4):
Not only is ADD's infrastructure terrible

I don't think it's that bad, especially for Africa--it compares favorably to bits of LHR and CDG.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 1):
and attract tourism first.

Ethiopia is one of my favorite places whereas you couldn't pay me enough to go to DXB, but I think I'm the exception--I don't think Ethiopia has that much tourism potential any time soon.
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blueflyer
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:42 pm

Dubai built itself up by connecting Old World to Emerging Economies, not by connecting Emerging Economies together, that sort of came as a second thought, and ADD isn't anywhere near as convenient for that purpose...

Having just completed my first trip in the continent that involved more than South Africa, I'd suggest they keep working on their regional infrastructure and network first. Having to use Emirates to fly between Central Africa and South Africa because you missed the thrice-a-week shorter option that the insurance carrier would accept is not fun!
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TC957
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:01 pm

In his dreams maybe. ET should concentrate on connecting Africa to their network beyond and having a highly efficient smooth passenger experience at ADD to faciltate this. And what about those passengers that want a stopover ? Granted, Ive not been to Addis Abeba but does it compare to Dubai ?? Hmmm...somehow I think not ! No beach for one thing !
And we also now have TK emulating the worldwide hub & spoke system as well, as has been pointed out, another hub really isn't needed.
 
airbazar
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:56 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Is he a little too optimist with this analysis ?? Or the basis to think that way are really there ? What do you think ??

He's forgetting about this little thing called Altitude   However, DXB is proof enough that if you throw enough money at it anything can happen.
 
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zeke
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:26 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 4):
Not only is ADD's infrastructure terrible compared to DXB, but ADD is also hot and high.

Where was Singapore 40 years ago, where was DXB 20 years ago ?
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MaverickM11
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:33 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 9):
Where was Singapore 40 years ago, where was DXB 20 years ago ?

Sea level still  And they had infinite funds, compared to ADD
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Cubsrule
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:41 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 8):
He's forgetting about this little thing called Altitude

Does it make that much of a practical difference? We know that various Boeing and Airbus aircraft can do ~7,000 nm routes out of JNB, which is higher. Taking that as the "practical range" ex-ADD, the only inhabited parts of the world not within that range are YVR, New Zealand, the Western half of the United States and Central America.
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Flying Belgian
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:50 pm

Geographically it makes indeed A LOT of sense for some very juicy traffic: Africa-Asia/Sub Asia.

But KQ and furthermore TK are also in the starting blocks...
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MaverickM11
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:54 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 11):
Does it make that much of a practical difference? We know that various Boeing and Airbus aircraft can do ~7,000 nm routes out of JNB, which is higher

JNB is about 2000' lower
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Gonzalo
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 11):
We know that various Boeing and Airbus aircraft can do ~7,000 nm routes out of JNB, which is higher.

Huh ?? ADD elevation is 7.656 ft, JNB elevation is 5.558 ft....that is 2.098 ft lower...
Now, we can get into a large technical conversation comparing the performance of a new ( low-weight ) 787 with two ( new state of art ) engines like the ones ET will have, with the performance of an "old" A340 with four "old" engines and more weight like the ones SAA uses in some of its longest routes, and maybe we can reach the same basic conclusion regarding the routes that ET could fly.

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HDA212
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:07 pm

Bit of a wishful thinking unless they get some major investments on their infrastructure in ADD
 
vincewy
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Somewhat related to this topic, what other cities and airlines have the potential of becoming another EK? So far only TK, EY, EK, and QR have truly put money into action, here are is list:

SVO (SU) - SU is getting a lot better now with new A330s and it's between Asia and Europe, they could funnel a lot of traffic through SVO, but the main constraints, based on my observation, are visa requirements and weather (winter).

KBP (VV) - VV isn't known for top-tiered services, perhaps they can focus on backpackers and those who want cheap C/J fares.

AMM (RJ) - IMO RJ can be as good as QR, they have excellent services (including top catering), not sure what went wrong.

CAI (MS) - news coverage of Egypt doesn't help, but it has its own O&D market as backbone.

MCT (WY) - they have different focus, they want to bring people to visit Oman, and remain a boutique carrier with limited network.

SAH (IY) - IY really has potential, they provided a lot of traffic to DAC before the competition circling in. In addition, instability within Yemen has hampered growth of IY. They could have milked and funneled all the traffics to Somalia by providing daily services (not just MGQ, but a few cities north could really use their services) with minimal risks since they are across Gulf of Aden.

KRT (SD) - Throwing politics out of equation, KRT is more suitable as a global hub than ADD. SD's international reputation doesn't help either. Plus there's O&D volume, just look at the metals EK, SV, LH, and KL bring in.

JED/RUH (SV) - Saudi Arabia should've been the biggest market in the Middle East. Besides geography, they already have sheer volumes of O&D from subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Main barriers are visa requirements and religion.

The remaining can be summed up the same way, too close to the epicenter of conflicts for frequent flyers -

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KWI (KU)
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incitatus
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:58 pm

There are about 50 cities in a quadrangle between Tunis, Moscow, Addis Ababa and Kabul with similar ambition.

This is no news.
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KFlyer
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:52 am

incitatus, +1
True, the world does not need another such hub, but if ET tries hard they can have their share. In fact, even at present, they seem to be having a better connectivity share than KQ.
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ETinCaribe
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:27 am

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam says ADD could become a global connecting hub like Dubai.

Hmmm, I wish no one had noticed this statement  

Ok, so DXB would welcome that fight. But let's give credit to Mr. Tewolde, his aspirational goals are very lofty. ADD will never be another DXB, and I don't think that was his point.

His point (my interpretation of it actually) is that ET needs to compete in the H&S model that the likes of EK operate in. That doesn't mean they will command a large marketshare in that space but they will look to get a small slice to complement the other routes.

For instance, you want to fly GRU-CAN (or any other big city in Asia), according to the Great Circle Mapper, ADD is as good a stopover as DXB/DOH/IST are.


    GRU-CAN: 11164 mi
    GRU-IST-CAN: 11455 mi
    GRU-DXB-CAN: 11219 mi
    GRU-ADD-CAN: 11171 mi
    GRU-NBO-CAN: 11165 mi


So pax out of GRU will now have another option to choose from. How many will pick ET over EK and others, probably fewer but that's ok, this is not nor will it ever be the lion share of ET's rev.

ET's differentiation and competitive advantage are the Africa to Asia routes in which it is the main player (or one of the main players) today. And that is going to grow over time as well, albeit with competition from KQ and also EK/TK/QR and the likes.

What I wish the CEO was more focused on are the secondary markets in Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, etc.) and even more importantly the different hubs in Africa it plans on setting up for better regional coverage. ANd that also happens to be routes in which it will most likely be the only player so can command better yields. Some will be thin routes hence why the CEO is even talking about the BRIC connectivities as complementary revenue stream.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 14):
Now, we can get into a large technical conversation comparing the performance of a new ( low-weight ) 787 with two ( new state of art ) engines like the ones ET will have

Tyre speed is the main limiting factor at ADD. But even then, only North American routes will require a stopover in Europe, all other routes will be nonstop.

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 18):
True, the world does not need another such hub, but if ET tries hard they can have their share. In fact, even at present, they seem to be having a better connectivity share than KQ.

Don't forget that the main attraction of a ADD hub is not the hub itself (ADD is not Paris so doesn't have a drawing power) but rather the fares and convenience in connecting two cities.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 16):
So far only TK, EY, EK, and QR have truly put money into action, here are is list:

Great list. NBO is the big omission there.
I still like ET's chances against the others listed. Again it is ET not ADD that is what would attract customers.
 
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:09 am

Quoting incitatus (Reply 17):
There are about 50 cities in a quadrangle between Tunis, Moscow, Addis Ababa and Kabul with similar ambition.

I beg to differ, those I have mentioned above already have the infrastructure in place, all it takes is a little bit more capital and expansions, perhaps with more liberal visa policies in each respective state. Unlike places in Central Asia such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, or Caucuses where it could take decades to develop and open up, BTW, those places have potentials too.

I didn't go as far west as Tunisia, else ALG (AH) would be there too. They already have PEK and YUL in their network and plan to add more cities in North America and Asia (most likely JFK and PVG).

Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 19):
NBO is the big omission there.

NBO is too far south for any European markets going to other than Africa and Australia, plus elevation is another concern, OK, a little lower than ADD. Nonetheless, if there's any African airlines/city can really grow into a mega hub, it's ET/ADD. ATM their biggest obstacle is perception. When I see check in counters at HKG passengers tend to bring in palettes of goods, perhaps they should consider cargo planes as well.
 
BestWestern
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:19 am

Quoting vincewy (Reply 20):
ATM their biggest obstacle is perception.

The gulf carriers always had a good perception - GF in the day was an excellent carrier.
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cchan
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:46 am

IMHO before anything happens, ADD airport needs a massive upgrade. There aren't enough seats around during the morning and evening busy hours, and ET's business class lounge is so crowded it is not pleasant at all.
 
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RWA380
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:27 am

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 12):
But KQ and furthermore

I would love to see KQ try and do the same thing, at least ET is allowed to fly to the USA, unlike KQ who is still waiting for things to change so they can land in the USA.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 20):
When I see check in counters at HKG passengers tend to bring in palettes of goods, perhaps they should consider cargo planes as well

Sounds much like check in for just about any PR flight from overseas heading to MNL.
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Viscount724
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:34 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 11):
Quoting airbazar (Reply 8):
He's forgetting about this little thing called Altitude

Does it make that much of a practical difference? We know that various Boeing and Airbus aircraft can do ~7,000 nm routes out of JNB, which is higher. Taking that as the "practical range" ex-ADD, the only inhabited parts of the world not within that range are YVR, New Zealand, the Western half of the United States and Central America.

It makes a difference because from a sea level airport you can carry more payload and use aircraft types that have lower operating costs on those longhaul flights than from an airport that's 7600 ft. above sea level.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 4):
ADD is also hot and high.

High but I wouldn't consider ADD hot. Climate data I can find shows the average high temperature even in the warmest months is never above the mid-20s C (mid-70s F).
 
Cubsrule
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:53 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 24):
It makes a difference because from a sea level airport you can carry more payload and use aircraft types that have lower operating costs on those longhaul flights than from an airport that's 7600 ft. above sea level.

That's correct in the abstract, but a more nuanced analysis is required. Longer ranged aircraft tend to perform better out of hot and high airports (the 77L is better than the 77E; the 346 is better than the 343). If the range is necessary anyway, the elevation - while likely increasing costs some - isn't a problem in itself.

Putting this more concretely, that ET could not operate the 763 or the 333 on JFK-ADD has nothing to do with the altitude; those aircraft don't have the range regardless of ADD's altitude.
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peterinlisbon
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:16 am

Perhaps a route to Sao Paolo would be a good idea. That would connect Brazil to India, China, and Southeast Asia (as well as East Africa). About the elevation - can't they just extend the runway and problem solved?
 
ETinCaribe
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:35 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 24):
High but I wouldn't consider ADD hot. Climate data I can find shows the average high temperature even in the warmest months is never above the mid-20s C (mid-70s F).

Very true. And the longhaul flights leave in the middle of the night and Addis is cool year around at night.

Quoting cchan (Reply 22):
IMHO before anything happens, ADD airport needs a massive upgrade. There aren't enough seats around during the morning and evening busy hours, and ET's business class lounge is so crowded it is not pleasant at all.

I agree but it is also important to remember that the CEO is talking about 10 to 20 years in the future, not today.
ADD is expanding, even a new airport further south of the city is in the plans for the next decade. A new terminal at ADD is probably coming in the next couple of years. I also wish it was in place today 
See more at the African Aviation Herald site: http://www.theafricanaviationtribune...pia-plans-afoot-for-new-addis.html

Quoting peterinlisbon (Reply 26):
Perhaps a route to Sao Paolo would be a good idea

Starting in December via Lome, Togo to feed ET's sister company (ASKY) regional routes. Initial frequency is 3x weekly.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 23):
I would love to see KQ try and do the same thing

In most cases, KQ will do the exact same thing.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 20):
When I see check in counters at HKG passengers tend to bring in palettes of goods, perhaps they should consider cargo planes as well.

Well, what I have seen at EK counters at DXB for flights to India, Central Asia and the likes is probably similar to what you have seen: merchants or individual shoppers hauling anything and everything onto the plane. Note that this is a good source of rev in terms of extra luggage and the likes. ET does not cater to the highest end of the market and won't charge you as such, even for Business class. Typically, B fares are 2x Y fares which is not what you see on most carriers (correct me if I am wrong here).
 
aeroblogger
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:41 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 24):
High but I wouldn't consider ADD hot. Climate data I can find shows the average high temperature even in the warmest months is never above the mid-20s C (mid-70s F).

Thank you for the correction. In my perception, "Africa" always makes me think hot - it's good to keep in mind that this stereotype doesn't quite hold up  
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incitatus
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:11 am

Quoting vincewy (Reply 20):
I beg to differ, those I have mentioned above already have the infrastructure in place, all it takes is a little bit more capital and expansions, perhaps with more liberal visa policies in each respective state. Unlike places in Central Asia such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, or Caucuses where it could take decades to develop and open up, BTW, those places have potentials too

Even little Belgrade, like Addis Ababa, thinks it is going to get on the map, so your list is far too incomplete.
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cchan
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:16 am

Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 27):
ET does not cater to the highest end of the market and won't charge you as such, even for Business class. Typically, B fares are 2x Y fares which is not what you see on most carriers (correct me if I am wrong here).

I bought a business class one way ticket from JNB to HKG via ADD on ET, fare was around R8000, and economy was around R6000. With business class just costing roughly 30% more than economy, it was very attractively priced.
 
The777Man
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:08 am

ET's future is traffic to/from Africa; not to connect GRU to Asia or the other way around. Traffic to/from Africa is already growing a lot and it will continue. More traffic will also go to/from Africa to Brazil so it makes sense to start GRU and probably later GIG. ET currently flies a lot of one-stop trips in Africa but needs to make them nonstop from ADD and start to add a second daily flight as traffic grows.

ADD needs a new terminal or big expansion of the current one. The altitude of ADD does pose some problems with range like on the IAD route.

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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:21 am

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 1):
I think Ethopia needs to upgrade their infrastructure and attract tourism first.
And ofcourse, the current fleet of ET 767's and 757's are in pathetic condition. Trust me, Iran Air Maintains their 747's much better.

There always will be a need and demand for affordable travel it is because of this demand we see EK doing well which about a decade to 15 years ago was taken care of by European Carriers. If they can replicate a decent hub with reliable service across their network i am sure they will find some takers.
 
cchan
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:41 am

Quoting The777Man (Reply 31):
ET's future is traffic to/from Africa; not to connect GRU to Asia or the other way around.

IMHO, in addition to connecting passengers to regional flights within Africa, it wouldn't be difficult for ET to get a slice of Asia-South America and other markets as long as they are able to time the flight arrivals and departures well.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:17 pm

Quoting ETinCaribe (Reply 27):
Quoting peterinlisbon (Reply 26):
Perhaps a route to Sao Paolo would be a good idea

Starting in December via Lome, Togo to feed ET's sister company (ASKY) regional routes. Initial frequency is 3x weekly.

They're starting LFWGRU??
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ETinCaribe
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 34):
They're starting LFWGRU??

Yes, the routing is expected to be ADD-LFW-GRU.
See: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...razil-with-sao-paulo-route-372817/
 
KFlyer
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:53 pm

With regards to GRU, interesting routing. ADD-LFW on GC distance is 2581mi and LFW-GRU GC is 3811mi. I am not familiar with the Southern Atlantic airways, but does this mean that they are able to operate 767s on this route?
The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
 
ETinCaribe
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:56 pm

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 36):
With regards to GRU, interesting routing. ADD-LFW on GC distance is 2581mi and LFW-GRU GC is 3811mi. I am not familiar with the Southern Atlantic airways, but does this mean that they are able to operate 767s on this route?

I think they could but it will be the 787, unless they change their mind..
 
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RE: ET CEO : Addis Ababa Could Be A Hub Like DXB

Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:56 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
http://atwonline.com/news/other-headlines/

Article has rolled off the page. Do you have another link?

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
But does the world NEED another connecting hub like Dubai?

NEED is the wrong word. This is competition. Many would argue DXB wasn't 'needed,' but it filled a HUGE hole left by under-expansion at the European hubs and incredibly poor policy by the Indian government. The 744 allowed DXB to be bypassed, but Dubai policy created a demand.

The reality is that air travel should double in under the traditional 15 years. We'll see growth in the BRICs, Africa, mid-east, and SE Asia at a pace never seen before. The number of people entering the middle class with swamp the current hubs.

However, that doesn't mean there isn't planned growth. For example, a new airport is planned for IST. Due to lack of growth at the slot constrained European hubs, there will be easy growth. DWC will one day be built, but financial difficulties for Dubai will force 'optimization' of DXB. That means that EK will no longer be able to provide the best connecting times. (e.g., look at HKT, not exactly optimal timing) Even with all the A380s, EK will be expansion constrained, so there is a HUGE opportunity.

That isn't to say

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
I don't think it's that bad, especially for Africa--it compares favorably to bits of LHR and CDG.

But its competition is DXB, DOH, AUH, and IST.

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 12):
furthermore TK are also in the starting blocks...

When TK has the new 5 runway airport (a big question on when...), there will be extreme competition.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 16):
So far only TK, EY, EK, and QR have truly put money into action

TK and QR have much 'unrealized potential.' Yes, I'm aware of both of their growth rates... However both are currently constrained by limited airport infrastructure. QR will soon have the 'new-DOH' airport to expand from. I expect them to rationalize their hubbing waves along EK's lines. That will make them a far stronger competitor. In particular if QR joins an alliance (any alliance).

EK has done well, but the reality is they need:
1. Relief from Saudi on approach paths.
2. More terminal space that will soon be accommodated by Concourse 3, in the short term.
3. Another runway.

EK still has growth opportunities. But it will take Dubai years before they could finance DWC's expansion. So there is a window during which EK can be partially out-maneuvered. Is ET ready to also out-maneuver TK, QR, and EY? I wish them well, but I have my doubts.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 16):
JED/RUH (SV) - Saudi Arabia should've been the biggest market in the Middle East. Besides geography, they already have sheer volumes of O&D from subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Main barriers are visa requirements and religion.

Saudi is like India, tremendous potential but an unwillingness to bend to customer expectations. The reality is that a large number of travelers drink. I also know more than a few premium passengers where the company pays for the wife to travel with the husband. Until Saudi achieves a more 'female friendly' reputation, they will lose customers. What wife wants her husband building up miles with Saudia? I'm sure some, but enough will resist that it has tempered Saudia's growth.

Notice I never mentioned religion. Air travel is all about the perceived experience.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain

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