About Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines is the flag carrier of Ethiopia and fully owned by the Ethiopian government. The airline was established in 1945, commenced flight operations in April 1946 and has its headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The carrier began offering international flights in 1951 and is a member of the Star Alliance. The airline is also a member of the African Airlines Association and the International Air Transport Association.
Ethiopian Airlines is one of the largest in Africa and in 2015 it won the Best Regional Airline of the Year Award, which was celebrated at the Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards by Air Transport World in Washington, D.C.
In the early 1940s, Ethiopian Emperor Haile struck an agreement with John H. Spencer who was the foreign affairs advisor to Ethiopia. The agreement ensured that a commercial aviation company would be established in Ethiopia: Ethiopian Airlines. The government owned and funded the airline, but it was managed by TWA.
The airline started its first long haul routes in the 1950s and had a clean reputation until 1960 when it experienced its first fatal crash, followed by a second fatal crash in 1961 and a further fatal crash in 1962. This caused investigations to be carried out by the CAA which found that infrastructure was the main cause.
Despite its chequered history, Ethiopian Airlines has upgraded its safety operations and has grown in popularity over the years.
Destinations that Ethiopian Airlines Flies to
Ethiopian Airlines flies to 113 passenger destinations and 35 cargo destinations. The airline is known to fly to more destinations in Africa than any other airline, offering flights to and from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines Fleet
Ethiopian Airlines has a current fleet of 82 aircraft in operation and a further 51 on order. The fleet includes:
- Airbus A350-900: 2
- Boeing 737-700: 8
- Boeing 737-800: 15
- Boeing 767-300ER: 6
- Boeing 777-200LR: 6
- Boeing 777-300ER: 4
- Boeing 787-8: 16
- Bombardier Dash 8 Q400: 19
- Boeing 757-200PCF: 2
- Boeing 777F: 6
On Board Entertainment
Passengers are provided with on-demand audio and video with over 80 channels. Light snacks, full course meals and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic meals are served on board. Special child-friendly meals are also available.
For Cloud Nine (Business Class) passengers, 2 pieces of checked baggage is allowed, weighing no more than 32kg. Cloud Nine passengers are allowed 2 pieces of hand luggage weighing no more than 7kg.
Economy Class passengers are allowed 2 pieces of checked baggage no more than 23kg and 1 piece of hand luggage weighing no more than 7kg.
Rewards / Frequent Flyer Program
ShebaMiles is the Ethiopian Airlines frequent flyer program. Miles are earned with each flight and can be redeemed for flying benefits such as additional baggage allowance, personalised luggage tags, airport standby priority, access to airport lounges, advance boarding, priority baggage handling, and in some cases, free ticket cancellations.
Partnerships and Codeshare Agreements
The airline currently has codeshare agreements with Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, ASKY Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Avianca Brazil, EgyptAir, El Al, Kuwait Airways, LAM Mozambique Airlines, Lufthansa, Malawian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, RwandAir, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines offers Cloud Nine (Business Class) and Economy Class seats on all flights except those operated by Dash 8 aircrafts. These flights are all-economy flights.
Online check-in facilities are available from 36 hours to 2 hours before flight departure. To check in, a passenger must input their ticket number and first and last name. Thereafter they can confirm attendance, luggage and select a seat.
Contacting Ethiopian Airlines in South Africa
To contact Ethiopian Airlines in SA:
Telephone: 0800 984 023 or +27 021 8197 028
Ethiopian Airlines in the News
Ethiopian Airlines states that it wants Africans to enjoy safe and rewarding travel. In five months, the airline added 7 routes to its schedule. The new routes will commence between February and June 2017. The new routes include Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Guinea, Norway, Indonesia and Singapore.
In January 2017, Ethiopian Airlines flight 501, destined to land in Addis Ababa 13 hours later, was grounded due to a “medical emergency” on board. The aircraft was safely diverted to St. Johns, but attendants and officials could provide no information as to the nature of the medical emergency or how long the aircraft would be grounded.