A third carrier from the African continent is slated to join Star Alliance by the end of 2011. Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to 59 destinations (including 39 in Africa), will give Star Alliance passengers a major boost in African coverage.
Ethiopian Airlines is hubbed at Addis Ababa but features a variety of interesting Fifth Freedom routes as well, including:
- Rome – Stockholm
- Washington Dulles (their only U.S. destination) – Rome
- Bangkok – Hong Kong
- Guangzhou – Bangkok
- New Delhi – Beijing
A formal announcement is scheduled for tomorrow.
Airfare in Africa is often exorbitantly high, so I am pleased to see that much of Africa will now theoretically be accessible using miles to book award flights on Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, and South African Airways.
Ethiopian Airlines operates 10 Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on its long haul flights and offers two-cabin service, economy and "Cloud Nine". Five Being 777-200LR aircraft are on order. The airline also has ordered Boeing 787s–take a virtual tour of their new aircraft here. Unfortunately, the business class seats will not be fully lie flat, but still shame nearby Egypt Air’s paltry excuse for a business class cabin…