‘Our multiple gateways in Nigeria reduce burden on Murtala Muhammed Airport
The Managing Director of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr Esayas WoldeMariam Hailu, has explained the rationale of its carrier multiple route in Nigeria as a strategic way to not only reach and give unique services to its customers in Nigeria that spread across the six geopolitical zones, but also a way of reducing frequent burden on the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.
Mr Esayas, who spoke to Travelpulse&MICE and other travel and aviation journalists at the Ethiopian Airlines headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recently, said going to multiple gateways reduces time, inconveniencies and makes it easy and convenient to land from all places reducing the burden on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. This, he said, allows the airport to accommodate other airlines and passengers from domestic and international routes in the airport.
“This also creates employment in other gateways in Nigeria where we operate. It also creates warehousing at the airport and this requires the services of customs, immigration and other security operatives who will be employed at the airport routes.
“It also creates activities and business to cater for the people working at the airport. So it creates a vibrant economy. It makes it convenient for passengers and the local communities and it is a win-win thing for the airline and Nigeria.”
Also speaking on the effectiveness of Ethiopia’s visa issuance on arrival, the airline’s Managing Director said “It has been contributing a lot to the tourism boost in our country. Before in Nigeria, which you know has a big geopolitical zone people had to travel from different parts of to Abuja to present themselves and documents for their visas but now, we don’t only have electronic visa, we also have visa on arrival for all African brothers and sisters.
“So you don’t even have to go anywhere, even online, for your visa, the processes have been seamless, you just travel and when you get to the airport in Addis, present your passport and pay the required fee and you will be given visa on arrival.
“Since we have been doing this, people have been discovering the other side of Africa through the Ethiopian culture, ranging from coffee, beer, nightlife and different historical routes where they can go and see different terrains like the rift valley cutting Ethiopia diagonally and leaving a chain of lakes from the Red Sea going to the Necrodon.
“We also have an in-house unit called the Ethiopian Holiday which is a tourism wing of the Ethiopian Airlines where we are doing a lot of tour operation and people are buying the package to come and enjoy their stay and go back. So these are the entire package and facilitation we have for the people.