August marks three important milestone events for Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia’s flag carrier: its 70th anniversary in the airline industry; its first year of operations in the country, providing direct Manila-Addis Ababa flights; and the launch of its latest and most technologically advanced aircraft, the Dreamliner Boeing 787, to service its Filipino clientele.
In a media event held Monday, August 1, at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Termnial 1, Solomon Bekele, Ethiopian Airlines’ country manager told InterAksyon, “This event is about celebrating the new aircraft, the 787 which Ethiopian Airlines is going to fly to the Philippines effective tonight, August 1. For the past one year, the airline has already been flying to the Philippines. We already fly four times a week, and now, we are upgrading and changing the aircraft from 767, which we are flying for the past one year, to 787.”
“Ethiopian Airlines is second in the world to own the aircraft, next to Japanese carriers. We are the first airline to introduce this aircraft in Africa. We have about 14 of 787s in our fleet mix. So now, the Philippines is becoming one of the destinations that is going to be served by the 787 aircraft,” he added.
’787′ travel deal
In celebration of these important milestones, the airline company is offering exciting travel deals for Filipinos through the Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dream Adventure Treat. Destinations include Addis Ababa in Ethiopia; Cairo and Capetown in Africa; Paris, Rome, Madrid, London, and Frankfurt in Europe; and Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Sau Paulo in America.
Bekele also announced this exciting news: “We are putting a very interesting promo for travelers. We branded our fares with our aircraft so we have fares which we call $787 fares. We are offering US$787 to any destination from the Philippines to any of our 90 international destinations. This offer is valid for bookings made until August 15 but the travel is anytime between now and through 2017.”
The $787 roundtrip fare is for the Economy Class, while for the Business Class, the airline is offering $1787 fare to same destinations.
Apart from these low fares, travelers will also enjoy the premium amenities featured by the newest Dreamliner 787.
‘Best flying experience’
Bekele described the Ethiopian Airlines’ newest aircraft as lightweight and eco-friendly, which has less carbon emissions compared to any model in its category. Moreover, the Dreamliner is 60% quieter, and has a smart glass auto-dimming technology for passengers to have a more relaxed flight.
Dreamliner passengers will appreciate comfort features like the aircraft’s 65-inch seat pitch and 124-degree lie-flat recline for the Business Class; while 32-inch reclining seats equipped with footrest, wide leg room, window visibility control, coat hook, and USB port to connect personal devices are featured in the Economy Class.
Passengers can indulge in in-flight entertainment where they can watch shows from 85 channels through a high-definition 15.4 inch IFE screens for Business Class; and 80 channels, which can be viewed through 8.9 screens for the Economy Class.
Quality meals prepared by chefs are also available during flights, and can be complimented by a wide array of drinks including sodas, beers, and a selection of red and white wines.
“With the latest Dreamliner cabin, features coupled with our globally-renowned Ethiopian hospitality in-flight services, we aim to give the best flying experience to passengers coming from Manila,” Bekele noted in a press statement.
Since it started operations in 2015, Ethiopian Airlines has increased the number of its flights from thrice to four times a week to cater to the growing needs of its Filipino clients.
“We used to have 211 seats in economy class, now, with 787 we are going to have about 246 seats so it is also an addition in capacity. It shows that we are continuously increasing capacity to the market which means we are very happy with the performance of our flights. We are very happy that the Filipinos found it to be a very good convenient way in traveling to Africa especially, but not only to Africa butt also to the Middle East, Europe, US,” Bekele shared.
He further noted, “We have a lot of attractions that are very appealing for the Filipino market so we want to tell these stories, we want to introduce these destinations to the Philippine community, and the same way, we are doing a lot of efforts in our offices in Africa to also promote Philippines as a destination for African travelers so both ways we want to develop that linkage of tourism between the two countries.”
(For travel attractions in Ethipia, read: http://www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/6-unique-reasons-that-will-convince-you-to-make-ethiopia-your-next-travel-destination)
Meanwhile, Department of Transportaton Undesecretary for Aviation Roberto Lim welcomed Ethiopian Airlines’ newest aircraft, and said that “it is good for the country.”
“We would like to think that aviation is more than just commerce it brings people, culture and everything else together,” he said.
He further noted that the Philippine government is exerting efforts to decongest the airport and in improving system procedures: ”We are working very hard to make a visible and felt improvement in the first 100 days so that’s our target, and we are working hard to achieve that.”
• For bookings and more information on Ethiopian Airlines, check the website: www.ethiopianairlines.com