THE enviable African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines early in the week marked its 70 years of existence and 56 years of operations into Nigeria promising to continue to provide better services on the route against all odds.
Speaking while marking the anniversary of the airline in Lagos, its Country Area Manager in Nigeria, Solomon Begashaw who recalled the commencement of flights into Nigeria in 1960 when Nigeria got her independence, said Ethiopian Airlines being a Pan-African carrier cannot afford to abandon Nigeria because of temporary challenges.
The carrier which presently operates into four Nigerian cities: Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano, said it will continue to show solidarity with Nigeria in times of challenges.
“Ethiopian has been in the highs and lows of Nigeria from the crisis periods of Nigeria down to the current economic crisis, providing the link between Nigeria and the outside world there by showing its African solidarity with the country.
It will be recalled that following the ongoing economic challenge confronting Nigeria, many foreign airlines including some African carriers have either stopped operations to Nigeria while others have reduced their frequencies.
Ethiopian Airlines on the contrary has chosen to weather the storm with Nigeria by refusing to either cut or stop operations despite the myriad of challenges facing the country.
According to Begashaw, “As a 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 colonisation. 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.”.
As a way of showing support to Nigeria the sister African airline has offered to employ some of the jobless Nigerian pilots for its ever growing fleet of B777, B787, B737 and Dash 8 Q-400 Aircraft even as it promised to help train more Nigerians in its Aviation academy, which is the largest in Africa.
“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.”
The peak of the celebrations was the announcement of the Airline to give 50 free tickets to Nigerians who liked Ethiopian Airlines Nigeria Facebook page.