17 August 2004

Ethiopian Airlines for Lagos-US Route

Lagos — Ethiopian Airlines may capitalise on the absence of direct flights between Nigeria and the United States of America to launch its presence in the highly lucrative route as it plans stop over flights in Lagos during its Trans Atlantic operations to the United States.

The U.S-Nigeria route has since this year been bereft of direct flights. The most recent attempt was the World Airways/Ritetime Aviation partnership which came to an abrupt end early this year.

Since then, passengers from Nigeria to the United States have been facing hardshisps traveling through Europe, before making connecting flights to the United States.

Although one of America's carriers, Continental Airlines is presently making efforts to commence direct flights between both countries, Ethiopian Airlines is said to be exploring the possibilities of having a stop over at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos for its transatlantic flights to the United States.

The move, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was disclosed by a three-man team from Ethiopian Airlines which paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Authority, Engr. Mohammed Sani Baba at the corporate headquarters recently.

The team made up of Ms Girma Shiferaw, Messrs Emeriti Tesfaye and Asmarc Askabe, it was disclosed, was in the country to explore the possibility of direct flight operations from Nigeria to the United States of America, originating from Ethiopia.

The FAAN boss who received the team was reported to have assured of the vast untapped potentials in the aviation sector in Nigeria, which, he said, is a natural regional hub in the West Africa Sub region.

Baba was said to have expressed gratitude to the Ethiopean Airlines for being a dependable ally over the years, pointing out that Nigerians have been making connections to the Far East through the airline.

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