By Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
Ethiopian will become the third African carrier in Star, joining Egyptair and South African Airways.
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“Ethiopian’s extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travelers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets,” Star Alliance CEO Jaan Albrecht says in a release. “Moreover, we will in future have three main hubs in Africa – Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg – allowing for an ideal access to the continent from either the North, Centre-East or South.”
Star Alliance says in the release that Ethiopian will bring five new countries — Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Niger — into the group’s cumulative route network. With Ethiopian’s addition, Star says it will consist of 29 carriers that offer “more than 21,380 daily flights to 1,196 destinations in 186 countries.”
Star adds that “the integration teams of Ethiopian Airlines, mentoring carrier Lufthansa and Star Alliance will begin their work shortly, with the aim of completing the membership process within the next 12 months.”