Aviation: How to kill Ethiopian Airlines and other African Brands

Ethiopian Guinea

Recently Ethiopian Airlines with Addis Ababa as Hub Overtook Emirates Dubai as the Hub for Travel to Africa. Just last week Turkish Airlines announced its 54th African Destination and positions itself as the Biggest Airline in Africa. Air France carries more passengers in Africa than most African Airlines except Ethiopian Airlines. The announcement of Ethiopian Airlines as the best and Most Profitable Airline in Africa has upset the Status quo of Aviation Business in Africa.

So Just like the History of Africa shows, once a strong leader emerges in Africa he must die or be Killed. The knives are out for Ethiopian Airlines. The powers that be are alarmed that finally an African giant has disrupted the Master- Servant relationship between Africa and it’s supposed Masters.

Today Africa does not control it’s resources . There is a second scramble for Africa by the Masters of Africa. Even if Africa cannot defend itself against this modern Imperialism being hoisted on us, we as Africans most contest for our Space.
I am unapologetically Pan African and have identified with all projects that will help Africa dominates its Environment.

When in 2014 I initiated The Team Africa in Rwanda along with some Travel enthusiasts our Aim was to get Africans to Travel within Africa. Africa a continent of over 1.2Billion People receives only 63million tourists. If we get only 10% of Africans to Travel within Africa all African Airlines will thrive carrying Africans.

To get more Africans to Travel within Africa we need an African Open Skies which Single African Air Transport Market(SAATM) is meant to address. We also want an Open Border Regime with Visa on Arrival for all Africans and the African Passport by African Union is meant to Address.

Today few African Companies which includes Multichoice, MTN, Dangote, Ethiopian Airlines and Econet have built profitable Pan African Brands and all efforts must be made to protect them.

Of all the Leading African Brands none has gone beyond the Continent as champions like MTN and Ethiopian Airlines have done. Today Ethiopian Airlines has shown the World that Africans can play too.

They have joined the league of Global Champions. They can sit at the Table along with other Africans like Aliko Dangote and Mo Ibrahim.

Now my problem is the attempt to disorganize Ethiopian Airlines by Using Africans to gang up against ET in order to bring it down. Every African should oppose this new attempt at Recolonizing Africa by Killing it’s leaders. Africa remembers the fate of Pan Africanists like Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba who were all eliminated. But Today the only African Company that has gone beyond the Continent with Operations in Asia, America and Europe is on the Firing Line of the Masters of Africa who are threatened by its sudden but sure footed rise to Prominence.

A recent story by the East African Newspaper claims there is a new Gang up of some African Airlines to stop the growth of ET in Africa. Anyway I know President Paul Kagame is a tried and tested Pan Africanist so I doubt if Rwandair will join such an attempt of “Corporate witchcraft” Kenya Airways is currently run by a European but I don’t doubt Kenya’s loyalty to Africa. The Kenyan President cannot betray Africa. South African Airways holds the Premium brand of Africa and represents one of the strongest African Brands ‘Nelson Mandela’ so will not betray Africa so this mooted Gang up is definitely coming from outside Africa.

There was no Gang up in Europe to break Lufthansa and even Turkish Airlines and none against Emirates so Africans should not play the Old Roman game of Using Barbarians to Fight Barbarians. We are Africans and not Barbarians Let’s put things in Perspective.

The market share of all African carriers put together is only 20%. African carriers are all small when compared with their competitors airlines from outside the continent. African Airlines should redirect their competition to non-African carriers who are eating the African lunch and should stop killing each other. All African carriers should focus on regaining the 80% market share that we lost to non-African carriers. They should cooperate among themselves and form a great alliance to compete against the foreign carriers.

Why did the market share of indigenous African Airlines on intercontinental traffic(traffic between African and the rest of the world) decline from around 60% in the early 90’s to insignificant 20% now ?

What happened to the then Big airlines like Air Afrique, Ghana Airways, Nigerian Airways, Zambia Airways. Why did they collapse ? It has been said that mismanagement, lack of strong leadership, lack of long term strategy, political interferences, lack of comprehensive national Aviation strategy and policy accounted for their Collapse so Africa has a deep Knowledge of the past and should not repeat the mistakes of the Past.

Ethiopian Airlines learnt from the mistakes of Others and continued to serve the African people and countries in the absence of these other great African Airlines both in good and challenging times even when there was war in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Mali etc. …
African international trade over the years depended on Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. They have helped distribute trade from one Part of Africa to Europe and to other parts of Eastern Hemisphere particularly China and India who have become major players in Africa.

Anybody who read Nelson Mandela’s book Long Walk to Freedom’ where Ethiopian Airlines was identified as a leader in Aviation.
Ethiopian Airlines has always helped sister African Airlines like Angola Airlines in the 1990’s, Zambian Airways in the last 1980’s, Air Tanzania, Uganda Airways and it is now also helping countries like Togo, Guinea, Chad, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea.

Ethiopian Airlines is about to be sold to the Public as announced by the PM of Ethiopia and I think it should be sold only to Africans to open the profits to other Africans. I agree with the Ghanaian Deputy minister of Aviation Kwabena Okyere-Darko who asked for ET to Open it’s shares to Countries where it operates in Africa.

All those Phantom stories about Ethiopian Civil Aviation not Opening the Ethiopian Airspace is nothing but Fairy tale. The last time I asked on behalf of a Nigerian Airline the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority proved that the Ethiopian Airspace is not blocked against any African Airlines. I asked the Nigerian Carrier to apply and we see what happens next.

Ethiopia has always pushed the agenda of liberalization of the African skies. It was among the first signatories of the Yamoussoukro declaration in the past when it was not a very dominant player in Africa and history repeated itself when Ethiopia also became among the first countries to sign and ratify the SAATM. In fact, SAATM was initiated jointly by ET, KQ, SA and Egypt air along with IATA , the Biggest Airlines in Africa. So why don’t we have an alliance amongst these players. Nigerian Airlines are against SAATM for the single reason that all top African Airlines will share it’s market. To see the same suspects accusing another player seems funny.

Also i was told that Kenya Airways currently flies between Addis Ababa and Djibouti with full 5th freedom traffic right which proves that Ethiopia is open. But ET is not allowed same 5th Freedom rights in Kenya.

AFRAA the African Airlines Association should encourage an Alliance of Airlines from the top African Markets The story I was told is that Ethiopian Airlines financed the establishment of AFRAA and based the Headquarters in Nairobi instead of Addis Ababa.

I think AFRAA should go forward and create an alliance of the Top 10 Airlines in Africa and help create Interlining and Codeshare arrangements among African Airlines to create Scale.African Airlines should cooperate and form partnership through AFRAA. AFRAA should also cooperate and align its objectives with AFCAC and the AU to develop African Aviation and change the lopsided market share of African Airlines.
By the way Ethiopian Airlines is purely home-grown African Airline which is fully owned and managed by Africans. Africans can rule the World just like Ethiopian Airlines has done. This is why we set up The Team Africa. Africans for Africa. We can do it. Now let’s go ahead and kill Ethiopian Airlines the game winner?

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