Fly with the Ethiopian flag carrier
Ethiopian Airlines came into existence shortly after the liberation of Ethiopia in the 1940s. Emperor Haile Selassie I was keen to march the country forward to modernisation and sought the help of France, the UK and the USA in helping coordinate plans for a national airline. By 1945, the government of Ethiopia had started talks with Trans World Airlines and an agreement was signed that secured commercial aviation activity in the country. Originally called Ethiopian Air Lines, the company was officially launched in late December of 1945, with a flight roster made up of American pilots, accountants and technical experts. American expertise also led the way in negotiating landing rights, with key agreements quickly signed with Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt and Aden.
Things really took off for Ethiopian Airlines after the purchase of five Douglas C-47 aircraft. The first flight was to Addis Ababa in February 1946, with a further four routes added later that year. It wasn't until the 1950s that long-haul services were introduced, with more far-flung destinations introduced to the flight schedule. During the 1950s, the reliance on American personnel was slowly reduced, and the airline began to introduce further aircraft to its fleet. In 1959, the company put in an order for two Boeing 720 craft, significantly expanding its flight network reach.
Today, Ethiopian Airlines continues to go from strength to strength. Based out of Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopian Airlines now boasts a fleet of more than 90 aircraft and maintains an employee network of more than 10,500 talented individuals. In 2010, it was invited to become part of Star Alliance, being placed under Lufthansa's wing. The flag carrier of its native Ethiopia, this airline handled more than 7 million passengers in 2015.
Flying with Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines offers two class types: Cloud Nine and Economy. However, some Dash-8 aircraft only provide economy seats on services. Passengers in both classes can look forward to refreshments when flying, with a selection of hot meals, cold snacks and chilled drinks depending on the length of the flight. Alcoholic beverages and premium items are also available for an additional fee. Cloud Nine passengers can relax at Bole International Airport if they're departing from there, while both economy and Cloud Nine passengers can enjoy onboard entertainment. When booking tickets, it's advised that passengers look into early morning and late evening flights to grab the biggest savings.
Check-in: For maximum convenience, it's possible to check-in before arriving at the airport online. Passengers can print off their boarding pass and simply scan it at the desk. Drop-off desks for luggage mean nobody needs to wait around for endless lines of check-in passengers to be processed.
- No additional items or baggage are allowed into the cabin (with certain exceptions e.g. walking sticks).
- Standard weight of hold luggage is 32 kg for Cloud Nine passengers and 23 kg for economy passengers.
- For more information on baggage rules, see here.