The Ethiopian Airlines Group, the largest aviation group in Africa and, has marked a Customers’ Day amid expressing its keen interest to further deepen its loyalty initiative.
The Ethiopian flag carrier marked its Customers’ Day event as it celebrated the 20th anniversary of its loyalty program, dubbed Sheba-Miles, on late Tuesday in a grand anniversary event that brought together high-level senior Ethiopian government officials, members of the diplomatic community that are based in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, as well as the airlines’ loyal customers, among others.
Speaking during the occasion, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said that “we are excited to offer our members with more ways to earn miles over the years. Throughout these years, our customers have immensely contributed to the development of the loyalty program.”
According to the CEO, the airline’s Frequent Flyer Program has teamed up with several airlines and non-airline partners with an aim “to create a world of choices for members to accumulate miles.”
“Going forward, we will continuously strive to offer enormous privileges for our customers underpinned by our digital solutions,” Gebremariam said, adding “we sincerely thank our loyal members and partners for their continued support throughout the years and for inspiring us to constantly enrich their travel and overall travel experiences.”
Ethiopian Airlines also on the occasion awarded its frequent flyers, who are said to have Sheba-Miles platinum membership and cargo customers, for their “continuous support and patronage to the airline.”
The Ethiopian airlines’ frequent flyer initiative – Sheba-Miles, which was originally named after the legendary Ethiopian Queen of Sheba who is known for offering generous rewards to King Solomon of ancient Israel, was launched back in February 1999.
The Sheba-Miles loyalty program has now more than 3 million members, according to figures from the state-owned Ethiopian flag carrier.
As the airline’s marked the 20th anniversary of its loyalty program various international and continental organizations also commended the airline’s contribution towards improving and modernizing Africa’s aviation industry.
“Congratulations the Ethiopian Airlines Group… Great feat for Africa’s top airline, carrying more than 12 million passengers, 432,000 cargo and earning 4 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2018/19. Flying to 125 international and 22 domestic destinations,” the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa tweeted on Wednesday.
GROWING CHINESE TRAVELERS A BOON
As the number of Chinese travelers to the East African country and Africa in general steadily rises, the Ethiopian Airlines Group, which envisages “becoming Chinese travelers’ favorite carrier,” has frequently commended its growing number of Chinese flyers.
Aiming to become Chinese travelers’ favorite carrier, ET had also in January this year inaugurated the largest Chinese restaurant in the African continent.
The restaurant, situated in the newly functional Chinese-built Ethiopian Skylight Hotel in close proximity to the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, is said to offer “additional comfort to Chinese passengers traveling to Ethiopia or on transit, serving Chinese as well as other nationals with authentic Chinese food prepared by Chinese chefs,” according to the airlines.
Speaking to Xinhua in a recent interview, Gebremariam had also stressed that “China today is the biggest source of our aviation market. This shows how much ET is strategically aligned and integrated with China.”
The Group CEO also hailed partnerships with Chinese firms for helping the Ethiopian air carrier to achieve impressive growth, saying that Chinese firms have constructed modern airport facilities in Ethiopia as well as helped Ethiopian Airlines get a strong foothold in the Chinese aviation market.
“Aviation Industry Corporation of China has constructed a luxury five-star hotel in Addis Ababa, and China Communications Construction Company Limited has constructed an expansion project at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, highlighting the strong partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and Chinese firms.”
Ethiopia’s national carrier currently operates daily passenger flights from Addis Ababa to Guangzhou and Beijing, and three-times-a-week passenger flights to Chengdu, as well as daily passenger and cargo flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai.
It had also previously disclosed its plan to start passenger flights to Shenzhen and cargo flights to Zhengzhou. Enditem