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02/03/2018 - 07:00hs

Ethiopian Airlines expands operations in Brazil

The African airline will offer daily flights from São Paulo to Addis Ababa and wants to attract passengers heading to the Arab destinations it serves, such as Dubai, Egypt and Jordan.

São Paulo – Ethiopian Airlines wants to attract business passengers taking off from Brazil to the destinations it operates on, especially Arabs, such as Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Jordan and Egypt. The airline currently has five weekly flights from São Paulo to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital (except Wednesdays and Saturdays), and, starting on June 15, will begin to offer daily flights to the African city, which is a large hub to many parts of the world.

Bruna Garcia/ANBA

Hagopian (L) and Lucca (R) in a visit to the Arab Chamber

In a visit to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce this Thursday (1), the company’s sales manager, Raphael de Lucca, and sales executive, Fernando Hagopian, talked to ANBA. According to Lucca, “the Brazilian corporate market demands daily frequency.” “We are offering customized projects to companies interested in flying with us,” he said.

According to the representatives, with the daily flights, the plan is to increase sales in 35% over 2017, when the company had only four weekly flights. Another factor that should contribute to the growth in the period is the new route São Paulo-Buenos Aires, to be launched by the airline on March 8. In a celebration to International Women’s Day, the first flight will have a women-only crew.

The aircraft to fly the Addis Ababa-São Paulo route will also fly the route to the Argentinian capital. The model is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a 262 passengers-capacity, with 22 executive class seats. The São Paulo-Buenos Aires round-trip ticket in economic class will cost around USD 189, plus fees.

Besides the corporate segment, Ethiopian Airline also plans to increase the numbers in the tourism sector. “Many of our clients are Arab-Brazilian, the diaspora, mainly from Lebanon, and we want to boost sales also to this group,” said Lucca. Another large flow, according to him, is the religious tourism to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, among other Muslim destinations.

Lucca said that the company’s edge are the competitive prices, a headquarters with prime location “at the center of the world”, in addition to a friendly and solicitous Ethiopian staff, “with a culture very much alike to ours.” Other appealing factors are the in-flight services with Ethiopian drip coffee (served to everybody), plus espresso coffee, Ethiopian wine and beer in the executive class. “For the Muslim group, which is growing in our company, we offer halal meals, and there’s no pork in our menu,” said Lucca.


Ethiopian Airlines is currently the African continent’s largest airline, with 75 years, and serves over 100 destinations with its own fleet in Africa, Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, plus flights with partner airlines, which cover the five continents. The airline is a member of the Star Alliance group and has been operating in Brazil for four years.

Among the Arab countries, the company flies to Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Jordan, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, UAE, Qatar and Oman.

Ethiopia is known for being one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee and has been investing in tourism and the industry sector. The country with a Christian majority is bordered by Arab countries Somalia, to the East, Djibouti, to the North, Sudan, to the Northwest, plus Eritrea, Kenya and South Sudan.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, has a favorable location in Africa Northeast and is a large distribution hub to neighboring African countries, plus Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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