Ethiopian Airlines Is Launching Another African Carrier, This Time With Nation of Chad

Aug 27, 2018

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There’s soon to be a new national flag carrier in Africa. This time in the nation of Chad.

The launch of Chadian Airlines — jointly owned by Ethiopian Airlines and Chad’s government — was finalized and announced by Ethiopian. Ethiopian holds a 49% stake in the venture while the government of Chad holds 51%.

The new airline is set to start operating flights on October 1, 2018, launching on an extremely quick turnaround. The airline will be based at Chad’s N’Djamena International Airport (NDJ). No details on Chadian Airlines’ fleet have yet been released.

“The new Chad national carrier will serve as a strong hub in Central Africa availing domestic, regional and eventually international air connectivity to the major destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia,” Ethiopian CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said in a press release.

Chadian Airlines will be the third African national carrier Ethiopian has launched. In 2014, the Star Alliance member launched Malawian Airlines along with the government of Malawi, and last week, Ethiopian announced it would be starting an airline with the government of Zambia, called Zambian Airways. That venture, which cost Ethiopian about $30 million, expects to operate 12 aircraft by 2028 with the inaugural flight currently slated for January 1, 2019.

Ethiopian is Africa’s largest airline by both revenue and fleet size. The carrier has a fleet size of 108 operating aircraft, among which are nine Airbus A350s, 19 Boeing 787-8s, 3 Boeing 787-9s, four Boeing 777-300ERs and six Boeing 777-200LRs. “Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft,” the airline said in its press release.

Ethiopian has plans to continue to expand its reach in Africa. The carrier is in the midst of implementing a 15-year growth strategy, called Vision 2025, which it started in 2010 in an effort to grow its hubs around Africa and become the leading aviation group on the continent.

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