Ethiopian Airlines Strong in U.S. Market

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Ethiopian Airlines has been making waves in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The African airline, which offers several weekly from Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport, was the official carrier at the Adventures in Travel Expo in Washington D.C. on February 21 and 22. The airline completed several events, including a special reception for dignitaries from the embassies of Angola, Botswana, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

The recession does not appear to have a huge impact on the airline. Gobena Mikael, director of North and South America for Ethiopian Airlines, said in a statement that the airlines is marking record revenues and profits; its year to date July-December 2008 revenue from the U.S. increased by 13 percent over that of the same period last year. In the short-term, the airline will continue operating four flights per week up to the summer, after which they will increase to five flights per week for the period June through August.

Interest in Ethiopia
The Lucy fossil exhibit, which has been in Houston, Seattle and is now moving to New York, has sparked interest in the African destination’s history, culture and religious significance.

NBA player Manute Bol serves as Ethiopian Airlines’ brand ambassador and in his position will appear at trade shows and special events, radio and TV interviews, and a launch of a co-branded Ethiopian Airlines Journeys itinerary.

Promotions
All of the U.S. promotions have been designed to support the Washington Dulles-Addis Ababa flights.  Ethiopian Airlines Journeys is now the tour operator of Ethiopian Airlines and promotes travel packages to Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.  Their new website, www.seeyouinethiopia.com features city guides, historical attractions and hotel databases to help visitors learn more about the destination.

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