Ethiopian Airlines. (Photo: Twitter/@flyethiopian)
Connecting Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa and Bengaluru with a direct flight, Ethiopian Airlines (EA) is eyeing the burgeoning south Indian market to fly more people to and from Africa and beyond, a top official said on Monday.
“A robust 20 per cent annual growth over the couple of years to and from India has made us double our daily flights to Mumbai and Delhi and foray into Bengaluru to connect south India with Ethiopia, Africa and other countries through Addis Ababa,” EA Chief Executive Tewolde GebreMariam told IANS here in an interview.
Under a code-sharing agreement with the state-run Air India, Bengaluru is EA’s third destination in the sub-continent to operate direct service to Addis Ababa and provide connecting flights to other African cities and Europe and Americas.
“Direct flights to Addis Ababa and connecting flights to 62 cities, including national capitals in Africa and 125 destinations the world over have made our airline the most preferred by passengers and cargo operators to and from India,” asserted GereMariam.
With 15-20 per cent of the traffic to and from Mumbai and New Delhi generating from south India, the airline has decided to operate a direct service to Bengaluru four times a week, with connecting flights in Air India to other southern cities to reduce air travel.
“We hope to soon operate a daily service between Bengaluru and Addis Ababa and connect Chennai and Hyderabad as next two destinations in south India to fly more people directly and minimise their travel time,” noted GereMariam.
With Air India discontinuing its service to Addis Ababa for operational reasons years ago, EA has a virtual monopoly on the inbound and outbound traffic between Addis Ababa and Mumbai/Delhi, which will extend to Bengaluru from this week with competition from Turkish and Qatar airlines though via Istanbul or Doha as one-stop over.
“With direct and connecting flights to and from Addis Ababa to cities in Africa and beyond, we have about 60 per cent of our passengers who are outbound to Europe, Americas and the Gulf or West Asia, while the remaining 40 per cent fly in Ethiopia or across Africa,” GebreMariam said on the occasion.
The CEO and other executives of the airline flew into Bengaluru earlier in the day from Addis Ababa with 110 passengers on the maiden service to south India in Boeing 737. The first flight to Addis Ababa and other connecting destinations from Bengaluru is scheduled to take off in the wee hours of Tuesday.
The airline operates Airbus A350 on the Delhi and Mumbai routes, as it has a huge capacity to fly about 350 passengers at a time.
“The passengers profile varies as each flight has a fair mix of people who are of Indian-origin or born to Indian parents living in Ethiopia and other African countries in hundreds as part of their Diaspora,” pointed out the CEO.
The airline also caters to hundreds of students from Ethiopia and other African countries studying in Bengaluru and other cities/towns in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana who are our regular fliers,” pointed out the CEO.
“Though business travellers contribute to two-thirds of our traffic to and from India and one-third of them to leisure, we are pitching and promoting India, especially Bengaluru as a wellness destination and gateway to other southern cities and tourist spots, including heritage sites in all the five southern states,” added GebreMariam.
The airline has one of the youngest fleet (121) of modern Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier aircraft, with less than 5 years of age and 52 more aircraft on order for delivery.
With a dynamic airfare, the airline has priced a round trip between Bengaluru and Addis Ababa at Rs 55,000 with 45-40 per cent discount as initial or promotional offer and ‘buy 1 ticket and get 1 ticket’ festival offer for Diwali till October 31.
“We provide visa on arrival at Addis Ababa or e-visa to Ethiopia for tourists or visitors from India,” added GebreMariam.
No increase in fuel prices for 2nd consecutive day on Tuesday
Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for the second consecutive on Tuesday providing relief to consumers who have been facing a regular increase in fuel prices in the past few months taking the retail rates to historic high levels.
With no revision, the price of petrol in Delhi remained Rs 105.84 a litre and Rs 111.77 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. In Mumbai, diesel rates also remained static at Rs 102.52 a litre; while in Delhi it costs Rs 94.57, the same as on Sunday.
The price pause comes after the rates rose for four straight days when the rates of both petrol and diesel rose by Rs 1.40 paise per litre. There was no change in the rates also on October 12 and 13.
Diesel prices have increased on 19 out of the last 25 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.95 per litre in Delhi.
With diesel prices rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre-mark across the country a few months earlier.
Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5, but oil companies finally raised the pump prices last week. Petrol prices have also risen on 16 of the previous 21 days taking up the pump price by Rs 4.65 per litre.
Crude prices have been on a surge rising over a three-year high level of over $ 85.7 a barrel now. It has softened a bit, falling below $ 85 a barrel now. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to the average prices during August.
Markets open on a positive note
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Tuesday opened on a positive note during the morning trade.
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 62,156.48 points and touched a high of 62,159.29 points. The Sensex touched a low of 61,964.41 points.
On Monday, the Sensex closed at 61,765.59 points.
The Sensex is trading at 62,061.59 points, up by 296.00 points or 0.48 per cent.
On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at lower note at 18,602.35 points after closing at 18,477.05 points.
The Nifty is trading at 18,549.55 points in the morning.
Petrol, diesel prices rise again, burn bigger holes in consumers’ pockets
Petrol and diesel price rose again on Friday taking its retail rates to record high levels across the country affecting consumers this festive season.
Accordingly, in the national capital, petrol and diesel prices increased by 35 paisa per litre to Rs 105.14 per litre and Rs 93.87 per litre, respectively.
In India’s financial capital of Mumbai, petrol became costlier by 34 paisa per litre to Rs 111.09 a litre on Friday, the highest across all the four metro cities. Diesel also costs Rs 101.77 for one litre in Mumbai.
The price hike on Friday is for a second consecutive day after the rates remained static on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Diesel prices now have increased on 17 out of the last 21 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.25 per litre in Delhi.
With diesel price rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre mark across the country a few months earlier.
Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices last week and this week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on 14 of the previous 17 days taking up its pump price by Rs 3.95 per litre.
OMCs had preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices. This is the reason why petrol prices were not revised for last three weeks. But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now pushed OMCs to effect the increase.
Crude price has been on a surge rising over three year high level of over $84.5 a barrel now. Since September 5 when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.
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