Ethiopian Airlines now flies direct from Newark, NJ to Lome, Togo

by Kofi Ayim

After fourteen years of absence in the New York Metro Area, the fastest growing airline in Africa has resumed a direct flight service to West Africa. The Newark City – Lome three times a week flight has been on the drawing board for the past twenty years, according to Group Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Mr. Tewolde Gebre Mariam at a reception July 3 in a maiden flight welcome speech to a cross section of mostly African community leaders at Terminal B of the Liberty International Airport at Newark, NJ. He said the service would save passengers time and afford them better and smooth flight connections. A visibly ecstatic Mr. Gebre Mariam hoped the service would soon increase to daily flights.

Enumerating the goal of the 70 year-old airline, he said fifteen years into Vision 2025, Ethiopian Airlines has already exceeded all targets; fourteen Boeing 787s, four destinations in China, (with daily flights from Africa) and three in the United States. He said the airline expects to generate huge revenue in the near future from ninety destinations in five continents. Mr. GebreMariam pointed out that passengers in North America who fly to West Africa could now utilize United Airlines (its U.S. partner) flights to Newark and connect to Ethiopian Airlines. In a sidewalk exclusive interview the vibrant CEO said Ethiopian Airlines would critically monitor market trends to West Africa in order to stay very competitive. Earlier in an exclusive interview with Amandla, the Regional Director, Sales & Services, Mr. Nigusu Worku said Ethiopian Airlines had considered a West African hub for its emerging market for some time now, and settled on Togo as its hub for several business reasons. “We knew there was no strong African carrier presence in West Africa and (we) wanted to establish one. Togo offered the best option,” he added. A joint Ethiopian-Togolese carrier Asky, has been set up to handle flight connections from Lome to other ECOWAS countries and beyond. The Boeing 787 maiden flight from Lome to Newark touched down fully filled with passengers, and so was the return trip. The 9:15 p.m. departure from Newark arrives in Lome 12:00 noon (local time) for connecting flights to other countries in West and Central Africa. The elaborate and colorful reception with classic Ethiopian live band, entertainment, food and drinks was attended by diplomats from Ethiopia and Togo, officials of the Port Authority of New York & New from ninety destinations in five continents. Mr. GebreMariam pointed out that passengers in North America who fly to West Africa could now utilize United Airlines (its U.S. partner) flights to Newark and connect to Ethiopian Airlines. In a sidewalk exclusive interview the vibrant CEO said Ethiopian Airlines would critically monitor market trends to West Africa in order to stay very competitive. Earlier in an exclusive interview with Amandla, the Regional Director, Sales & Services, Mr. Nigusu Worku said Ethiopian Airlines had considered a West African hub for its emerging market for some time now, and settled on Togo as its hub for several business reasons. “We knew there was no strong African carrier presence in West Africa and (we) wanted to establish one. Togo offered the best option,” he added.

A joint Ethiopian-Togolese carrier Asky, has been set up to handle flight connections from Lome to other ECOWAS countries and beyond. The Boeing 787 maiden flight from Lome to Newark touched down fully filled with passengers, and so was the return trip. The 9:15 p.m. departure from Newark arrives in Lome 12:00 noon (local time) for connecting flights to other countries in West and Central Africa. The elaborate and colorful reception with classic Ethiopian live band, entertainment, food and drinks was attended by diplomats from Ethiopia and Togo, officials of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, among others. The festive mood, understandably dominated by indigenes of Ethiopia continued after the departure flight was long gone. Free raffle tickets winners would be flown to Ethiopia first and Business Class for a five-day visit at top hotels. This writer missed the winning numbers raffle by one digit!

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Posted by on Jul 14 2016. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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