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Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:02 pm

There have been quite a few posts about Star Alliance needing an African partner. None of the Star airlines has a significant position there while all other alliances have (KLM/NW with Kenia Airways, oneworld with BA, qualiflyer with SR and SN, Skyteam with AF), so I think there is the need for an African partner. But who could be this?
As SAir Group holds a stake in SAA this option seems to be rather unlikely (altough SAA codeshares with LH on some domestic flights in Germany). So, might Ethiopian Airlines be a possible partner for Star? As far as what I have heard about them, they seem to have a quite reasonable reputation. Does anybody know how their route network would fit into that of Star? And what is their fleet existing of? Any infos are welcome!
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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:15 pm

i hope not. i don't think star alliance need an african presence that desparately.
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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:29 pm

IF it has to be anyone it will be SAA. Ethiopian does not offer much to star. they are way to small. if it is anybody it has to be SAA. SAA offers the only direct connection to sub saharan Africa from North America in new modern aircraft.(Ghana uses a DC-10 & Ethiopian uses a 767 via Rome)Even though SAA is owned by SAir (20%) a condition of the sale to SAir was that SAA has the freedom to choose its own alliances.SAA is also one of a few airlines that flies 2 all the continents on earth (if antarctica had a large population SAA would serve that 2 as most expeditions 2 antarctica goes from cape town anyway he he he)Besides SAA's codeshare with Lufthansa is way stronger than the 1 with Swissair. ULtimately SAA will joing Star as they are already codesharing with Ansett, Thai, Singapore, British Midland,SAS, Lufthansa, Varig & Air New Zealand. These are all Star members. Though I admit SAA might join SkyTeam, but Cauliflower/Qualiflyer ? Not an ice block's chance in hell.

Just my five bob.

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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Mon Jan 15, 2001 8:44 pm

i think the only african carrier star would like to have joining the alliance is SAA. ethiopian is a) too small, b) it´s fleet is too old, c) no geographical advantages and d) financially weak.
i don´t think SAA would enter an alliance anytime soon because i remember them saying they want to stayt of alliances for a while and pick its partners as they go.
perhaps having emirates join star could resolve the african problem as well because emirates has a number of services to africa. but i wouldn´t like seeing emirates join star. of course, it´s an excellent airline but there are already so many big airlines in star, too much of them would do no good.

If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 4:17 am

SAA does seem like a good airline among the African airlines, but there's got to be a lot of conflicts of interest. Someone mentioned they codeshare with LH in Germany. They also code-share with DL in the U.S. So I'm sure they'd be stepping on toes somewhere or another.

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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 4:38 am

Just because SA codeshares with someone out of the star alliance doesn't mean that they can't join an Alliance.

Air New Zealand for example code-shares with airlines outside the Star Alliance ie. Japan Airlines, EVA Air etc....

For my 2 bob's worth, I think SA would join the alliance if any

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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 6:51 am

The only four African airlines that I think the major alliances would consider are SAA, EgyptAir, Kenya Airways, and RAM. RAM is leaning heavily towards Skyteam (DL and AF partnerships), so I doubt you would see them in Star or Oneworld anytime soon.

Aaron G.
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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 7:05 am

Here in Washington, DC, Ethiopian flies to Rome and onward to Addis Ababa. A friend of mine who had just been to Rome, regretted to me yesterday the lack of nonstop IAD-FCO flights, and his need to go to JFK.

I mentioned the Ethiopian flights, and told him that if I ever go to Rome (likely in my line of work (theology) as in his (priest)) I would take the Ethiopian flight. What a great exotic-airline flight opportunity! (and all those Star FF miles if Ethiopian joins) My friend's exact words were "You must be on crack."

He doesn't know that Ethiopian is probably Africa's most professional airline, with the newest fleet, outside of South Africa. But then again we airline enthusiasts tend to know these sorts of things.  


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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 8:18 am

Ethiopian is an excellent airline. Adis ababa is also situationally placed so as to allow on-line connecting services to all parts of Africa for passengers connecting from the far east, india, SE Asia, Europe, etc.

I'm not sure what SAA bring to the table. If you'd wanna fly from say JFK to Nairobi, why would you take SAA? You'd rather take LH via FRA. SAA can fly to South Africa, and the surrounding South African countries - Botswana, Namibia, etc. All of West, Central and East Africa would be a pain in the butt to get to via JNB.
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RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 8:49 am

Ethiopian is pretty much the only airline in Africa that has an east-west, north-south network on the continent. Their east-west flights are almost daily, and their north-south are ever increasing.

Addis Ababa is perfectly positioned on the continent to be able to serve all 4 corners. It is more suitably place than Johannesburg. Only Nairobi would be better placed, and KQ will do whatever KL does.

And as Jaysit mentioned, SA only brings Southern Africa, whereas Ethiopian would bring an alliance ALL of Africa (or a huge chunk of it anyway).

RE: Ethiopian Airlines Possible Star Member?

Tue Jan 16, 2001 9:04 am

Ethiopian -- small? Careful what you say -- as far as serving Africa goes they're much better than SAA. And as to how any airline operating those incredibly old 767-300s and 757-200s could possibly be let into the Star Alliance, I notice United's just getting over its 727s ...

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