Ethiopian, US airlines ink codeshare deal

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Airlines has signed a code-share agreement with United Airlines, a major U.S. air carrier, allowing the two Star Alliance members to cooperate in the flight business.

"We are very pleased to start codeshare flights with fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines," Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, said in a Wednesday press release.

"This agreement will enable our two carriers to tap into new market opportunities and be competitive in the fast-growing Africa-U.S. travel market," he said.

"It will also give a wider choice of connectivity options to our customers travelling between Africa and the U.S.," he added.

A codeshare agreement is an arrangement by which two or more airlines can share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by a cooperating airline bearing a different flight number or code.

"The new codeshare agreement between the two Star Alliance member airlines covers the Addis Ababa-Washington, D.C. trunk route, as well as points in Africa and the U.S.," Ethiopian Airlines said the press release.

"With this codeshare agreement, travelers between the U.S. and Africa will be able to enjoy unmatched and seamless connectivity options thanks to United's strong network in the U.S. and Ethiopian's unparalleled coverage of East, Central, Southern and Western African destinations," it added.

Under the new agreement, the Addis Ababa-Washington trunk route will operate daily.

United Airlines Vice Chairman Jim Compton said: "United is pleased to join Ethiopian in providing new codeshare options for our mutual customers traveling between the U.S. and Africa."

Ethiopian Airlines is one of Africa's fastest-growing national carriers, operating over 200 flights every day.

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