Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Ethiopian Airlines will become a Star Alliance me mber, the alliance has announced on Friday.
Months after Ethiopian Airlines has submitted application for membership, the Ex ecutive Board of Star Alliance has unanimously approved the national carrier's application this week, according to the Alliance .
With the approval, Ethiopian Airlines is expected to become a Star Alliance memb er within the next 12 months.
Star Alliance, founded in 1997, is the world's largest alliance of airlines.
The Scandinavia Airlines (SAS) already code-shares with Ethiopian Airlines on th e Stockholm-Addis Ababa route since earlier this year, but the partnership has now been expanded to include a number of Ethiopian's Afr ica destinations, such as Ambouli (Djibouti), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Entebbe (Uganda), Mombasa (Kenya), Nairobi (Kenya), and Zanzibar (Ta nzania).
''On behalf of Star Alliance's Chief Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to invite Ethiopian Airlines to join the Star Alliance network,'' said Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Star Alliance.
''Ethiopian's extensive intra-African network will provide more choice for our travellers and bring the Star Alliance benefits to new markets.
'' Following Ethiopia's joining, Star Alliance will have three main hubs in Africa â" Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg â" allowing for an ideal access to the continent from either the North, Centre-East or South, according t o the CEO.
Ethiopian Airlines will become the third Star Alliance member carrier on the Afr ican Continent, joining EGYPTAIR and South African Airways.
''We are happy and honoured to be invited to the big family of airlines.
Ethiopi an will definitely enhance Star Alliance's global network,â? Girma Wake, the outgoing CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said.
â?Our long experience in the Afri ca market, coupled with our strategic hub, Addis Ababa, and the recently created Lome hub, will allow Star Alliance members to access many new markets in Africa.