What would a Star Alliance membership mean for Ethiopian Airlines?

It seems like Ethiopian Airlines is likely to join the Star Alliance this year bringing an end to Sky Team's dominance of the East African market via the Kenya Airways/Air France/KLM alliance in Nairobi!

Ethiopian Airlines would be the third African Star Alliance member after South African Airways and Egypt Air and its entry into Star Alliance to an extent signifies the continuous growth and maturity of African Airlines in the last two decades.ET is one of Africa's four major legacy airlines with extensive routes in Africa!Entry into Star Alliance is likely to complicate matters for Kenya Airways which has embarked on a Pan African quest to interconnect all the cities on the continent!

Kenya Airways and Sky Team will have to compete with a major hub in Addis Ababa only two hours away fro Nairobi plus Ethiopian's extensive code share agreements with Turkish Airlines( set to begin on 15 January 2010) and its partnership with Lufthansa that now sees the two airlines’ frequent flyer programmes  harmonized since October 2007 whereby  members of the Lufthansa Miles & More programme as well as of Ethiopian Sheba Miles can earn and redeem miles on any of the partner airline’s flights.

Also from June this year Lufthansa will fly the Frankfurt - Addis Ababa route during the day, as before, and Ethiopian will offer a night flight. In the opposite direction, Lufthansa will operate a night flight from Addis Ababa, and Ethiopian will fly during the day!

With the recent entry of Brussels Airlines into the Star Alliance,Addis Ababa could be a major hub for
distributing Star Alliance traffic into the African continent!2010 looks like a marvellous year for Ethiopian Airlines!

Useful Info:Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance. Founded in 1997, its name and emblem represent the five founding airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System, Thai Airways International, and United Airlines. Star Alliance has since grown considerably and now has 26 member airlines.
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