By Ogova Ondego
Published December 30, 2013
Almost two years after commencing flights between Addis Ababa and Mahe on October 30, 2011, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is from March 2014 pulling out of Seychelles.
The airline, that started its four times a week flights to Seychelles in 2013, joins Qatar Airways that withdrew from the route in 2013.
ET became the second African carrier after Kenya airways (KQ) to include Seychelles into its network. The latter was already offering three weekly flights to the island. ET started with a single flight per week before increasing them to the current four.
As if displaying the perennial rivalry of the East African Rift Valley distance runners, ‘The New Spirit of Africa’ (ET) and ‘The Pride of Africa’ (KQ) are so far the only carriers covering most of Africa besides their European and Asian flights. KQ and ET are two of about four leading African carriers. The two command a big share of the pan Africa network. ET flies 68 times a week to East African destinations.
KQ, that operates a smaller fleet of 26 aircraft against ET’s 38, currently flies more than two million passengers to 50 destinations in 39 countries in Africa and beyond every year. ‘The Pride of Africa’, as KQ is popularly known, projects that they will fly more than three million passengers around the world every year.
Other major airlines to Seychelles are Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airline that is in code-share partnership with the island’s own Air Seychelles and Dubai’s Emirates, both from the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.
While Emirates flies 12 times a week to Mahe, Nairobi’s Kenya Airways operates four flights a week into the Indian Ocean archipelago.