By Sade Williams
Ethiopian airline management said on Monday it will continue to operate in and out of Nigeria despite the challenges facing its (Nigeria) economy .
Solomon Begashaw, its Country Area Manager Nigeria, while speaking on the timeline of the airline as part of activities to celebrate its 70th anniversary in existence and 56th of operating into Nigeria, also said it has no plans to stop or reduce operations on any Nigerian route even when some airlines were leaving.
According to him, ‘we are here to stay we are not going anywhere, we consider ourselves as Nigerians, we are a Pan-African airline, we had been there when the situation was tougher, we will not reduce frequencies, we are not planning to do so, despite the economic challenges, we are here to stay”, he said.
The largest and the leading Pan-African Airline reiterates its commitment to Nigerian passengers that it will continue its scheduled operations to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, despite the recent withdrawal by some Airlines out of Lagos and Abuja.
“As a veteran Pan-African carrier it has always been our source of pride to serve our beloved continent , Africa , both in good and bad times. Our presence in Nigeria dates back to the 1960’s, same time the Federal Republic of Nigeria got independence from foreign colonization. Ethiopian has been part of Nigeria’s historic growth and always considers itself as a partner in the history and growth of Nigeria as a country.
“Hence, the Management of Ethiopian Airlines wishes to clarify its stance of pursuing its operation to Nigeria and keep Nigerian travelers connected to five continents around the globe. As an indigenous Pan-African Carrier, Ethiopian airlines will remain with the Nigerian public in good and bad times like it has always done in the past 50 years. Ethiopian has been in the highs and lows of Nigeria; all through the crisis periods of Nigeria and also during the last Economic crisis, providing the link between Nigeria and the outside world there by showing its African solidarity”, he added.
Currently, Ethiopian serves the Nigerian traveler from four Airports of Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano. To reinforce its support to Nigeria;
Begashaw revealed that Ethiopian will hire Nigerian pilots for its ever growing fleet of B777, B787,B737 and Dash 8 Q-400 Aircraft, train more Nigerians in its Aviation academy, which is the largest in Africa.
Besides, Ethiopian Airlines had always served Nigeria with the best Aircraft in its fleet like the A350 Airbus, B787 Dreamliner and the B777 wide body.
He added that in the Spirit of African brotherhood, Ethiopian Airlines does not wish to be in Nigeria only when the going is good, rather, make sacrifices along with Nigerians in this trying time knowing that Nigerians are resilient and resourceful and will soon come out of the temporary recession.
“As the Airline celebrates 70 years of existence, it has extended free tickets to Nigerians who liked Ethiopian Airlines Nigeria Facebook page”, he added.