Ethiopian Airlines will tomorrow take a group of Zimbabwe's leading travel agents and tour operators on a familiarisation tour of Malaysia and Ethiopia. Flying to over 70 destinations, and planned commencements of flights to Ndola, Zambia and Blantyre, Malawi next month the airline started operating the Harare-Kuala Lumpur route in October last year.
In an interview Fitsimt Dejene, Area Manager Zimbabwe, said such familiarisation tours are part of the various sales and marketing tools they use in giving opportunity to tour operators or agents a firsthand experience of Ethiopian Airlines services.
"These familiarisation trips are also an incentive for committed and/or potential travel agents as they promote the airline's products and services to the travelling public. We have had such tours before to our hub, Addis Ababa and an Ethiopian resort but last year we had awarded our travel agents for performances of the previous year," she said.
Mrs Dejene said eight travel agents have been selected for this year's tour, based on their high performance on the Asian market as well as the leisure/tour operation.
Harare is one of the eight destinations Ethiopian Airlines serves in Southern Africa with daily flights into Zimbabwe and two extra night flights scheduled to commence next month.
"Contribution of the Harare route to the region is vital in terms of passenger uplift and business generation. We are the only African airline that serves more destinations in Africa and the Middle East. We are the only airline that uplifts in flight meals (lunch/dinner) from Zimbabwe. "
"In June 2013 we will start flying to Brazil. Beyond June, we are looking at more destinations in Asia like Singapore, North Korea and Philippines," said Mrs Dejene.
She added that Ethiopian Airlines contributes to The Zimbabwe economy by consistently maintaining scheduled flights, increasing capacity and deploying new aircraft which include the Boeing 777 and 787.