Ethiopian Airlines Rakes in Over N1b at Kaduna Airport

Recently when many foreign airlines refused to extend their operations to and from the Kaduna International Airport within the six weeks period the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja was shut down for the rehabilitation of its runway, Ethiopian Airlines, the only airline that took up the gauntlet to fly in and out of Kaduna Airport, is reported to have made a fortune.

MARKETING EDGE gathered that Ethiopian Airlines made over N1 billion through its operation in and out of Kaduna International Airport for the six weeks the Abuja  airport’s runway was under rehabilitation.

It would be recalled that most foreign airlines refused to fly to Kaduna International Airport citing security and safety reasons, but only Ethiopian Airlines consented to avail air travellers its services.

It was learnt that the airline made good money relative to the huge number of passengers airlifted within the period. Ethiopian Airlines said that it airlifted over 4,500 passengers during the six weeks period.

Our finding shows that the cost of airline ticket during the period ranged from $608 (N185, 744.00) to $1,763 (N538,596.50) depending on the destination.

For a example, a flight to Addis Ababa cost about $770 (N232, 235, .00) while travelling to New Jersey cost $1,469 (N448, 779.50). Other far-flung destinations like Washington D.C cost as high as $1,763 (N538,596.50).

Our estimation, therefore, is that with a haul of 4,500 passengers and cost of ticket between $608 (N185744.00) and $1,763 (N538,596.50) Ethiopian Airline made close to N2.4billion within the six weeks of operating into the Kaduna International Airport.  The airline from March 8, 2017 remained consistent in rendering services to Nigerians through the Kaduna International Airport.

In fact, Ethiopian Airlines has been adjudged one of the major brands in the Nigerian aviation industry when it served as the first African airline to begin the first East-West link in November 8, 1960, by launching the Addis Ababa-Accra-Lagos-Monrovia route using DC-6B aircraft.

Last year, the airline celebrated its 70 years of operations and 56 years of operating into Nigeria by giving away free tickets to Nigerians on its Facebook page and with a firm commitment that it would continue to serve the Nigerian travelling public with the best air transportation services.

The airline which is the national carrier of Ethiopia and a member of the Star Alliance is an airline with many accolades and awards won through its service delivery and brand building initiatives in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.

Recently, Ethiopian Airlines won the Cargo Airline Award for Network Development at the tenth anniversary of the Brussels Airport Aviation Awards held on March 9, 2017.

Ethiopian Airlines was established on December 21, 1945 as Ethiopian Air Lines Inc, a joint venture with American Airline, TWA (Trade World Airlines) with five US Government surplus C-47 Skytrains aircraft.

The airline which later changed its name to Ethiopian Airlines started its first schedule flight operation from the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to Cairo via Asmara in Douglas C-47 Skytrian aircraft.

Following the successful inaugural flight to Cairo, a regular weekly service was established. Weekly services to Djibouti and Aden followed, as well as a domestic service to Jimma. Demand for additional services was so great that towards the end of 1946, four more C-47 Skytrains were purchased.

Ethiopian Airlines with its popular pay-off, “The new spirit of Africa” is a veritable institution in Africa and currently commands a lion share of the pan-Africa network.

The airline currently flies to 97 international routes across the world including Nigeria and 20 domestic destinations operating with its newest and modern aircraft like the Airbus A350, B787 Dreamliner and the B77 wide body.

Ethiopian Airlines offers comfortable First Class, Business Class and Economy Class seats. In the Economy Class, passengers are served with the latest in-flight entertainment with light snacks to full course hot meals with wide selection of wines and alcoholic beverages in all its flights.

Passengers onboard often enjoy the airline’s hospitality and individual attention that makes his/her flight memorable including offering Ethiopian national dish onboard.

Apart from the in-flight services, passengers of the airline are assured of on-time departure and arrival at destinations of their choices through a round trip, one way or multi-city connectivity.

Ethiopian Airlines Country Manager, Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Begashaw, said that Ethiopian Airlines has eleven core areas of commitment to its guests, which it uses as its market strategy to ensure that passengers patronize the airline.

Begashaw noted that these commitments include offering the lowest and affordable fares, notify customers of known delays, cancellations and diversion; meaning offering passengers appropriate information about their flights at the right time.

“Other services also are delivering baggage on-time, providing prompt ticket refunds, properly accommodating passengers with disabilities and minors and meeting customers’ essential needs during tarmac delays.

“We treat passengers fairly and consistently in the case of over sales, disclose travel itinerary, cancellation policies, frequent flyer rules and aircraft configuration as well as encourage code share partners to provide customer service commitments comparable to our own”, he said.

The Country Manager further said that Ethiopian Airlines ensures responsiveness to its numerous customers’ compliant in order to serve them better, explaining that services that could mitigate passengers’ inconveniences resulting from cancellations and misconnection are in place.

Apart from the fabulous treatment that Ethiopian Airlines offers its passengers, the airline also believes in giving back to the society through its Corporal Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Recent statistics show that Ethiopian Airlines has been beneficial to more than 300 orphans, who were given gifts, food items, musical entertainments and different games to keep them happy.

In areas like healthcare, education, community development, environment, sports and others the airline has touched the lives of many Nigerians.

Vice Chairman, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Idowu Adeshola, told MARKETING EDGE that Ethiopian Airlines exhibited a sense of responsibility by flying into the Kaduna International Airport when most of its contemporaries like Emirates Airlines, United Airlines and British Airways declined to do so.

Adeshola stated that by taking the risk to fly into the Kaduna International Airport, the airline has proven that it believed in the Nigerian government and whatever it does.

“Ethiopian Airlines being the first airline to fly into Kaduna International Airport shows that everything is not just about financial gains because business is a risk. They took the risk and they will never regret it”, he said.

Adeshola, however, debunked the rumours going round that Kaduna International Airport was not certified as an international airport by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“There is nothing like the Federal Government upgraded Kaduna Airport to an international airport in a hurry. When ICAO came to Nigeria last year, they went through the airport and they look at what can take place. They must have been part of the team and committee that advised the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that this airport can do much better and at such FAAN took the advantage to make sure that all things needed in terms of facilities, equipment and machineries were fixed. As at today, nobody is complaining because that place was not done in a hurry. It is a project with the future in mind”, he said.


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