Mr Solomon Begashaw, the General Manager of Ethiopian Airline, Nigeria says the airline has concluded plans to introduce a 12-hour direct flight from Nigeria to New York. Begashaw made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the airline.
He explained that the airline would soon commence flight operations from Lagos to New York through Lome, Togo in 12 hours.
“Ethiopian Airline as a State Alliance member of airline operators in the World has expanded the much needed air connectivity within Africa and the rest of the world in the last 70 years. “The normal time of travel from Lagos to New York is about 20 hours; but we will introduce a 12-hour flight from Lagos to New York three times weekly.
“That will be the shortest time ever; we are working with other star alliance members in the travel industry to achieve this wonderful plan,’’ Begashaw said. According to him, they have connected four Nigerian cities to the world: Lagos since 1960, Abuja since 2008, Enugu since 2013 and Kano since 2014. Begashaw said that the airline operated an all-women flight to countries like Saudi Arabia and had set aside two planes for this purpose.
He explained that the airline was currently reviewing its vision 2025 which includes generating 10 billion dollars, connecting 120 international and 26 domestic destinations among others. Also speaking, Mr Joshua Ogunrinde, the Deputy Vice-President of National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Abuja Zone said that Ethiopian Airline stood out in quality airline operations in Nigeria. Ogunrinde, however, commended the Ethiopian Government for easing the requirement process of getting visas by Nigerians willing to visit Ethiopia.
“We hope to see more of quality operations by the airline in the country’s travel industry. “NANTA has about 1,600 registered members across the country; and has so far employed over 6,000 people into the travel and tourism sectors of the country. “We call on other airline operators in the country to emulate Ethiopian Airline and partner with us to ensure that flying business in the country runs smoothly.
“However, we shall forward to the airline the authentic list of our members operating in Nigeria to avoid dealing with unregistered travel agencies in the country,’’ Ogunrinde said.