Ethiopian Airlines plans to employ Nigerian pilots for its growing fleet of B777, B787, B737 and Dash 8 Q-400 aircraft.
Besides, the carrier is ready to train more Nigerian pilots and aircraft engineers at its aviation academy in Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian Airlines’Country Manager, Mr. Solomon Begashaw, said the gesture was part of its contribution to aviation in Africa.
He said the airline considers Nigeria as a strategic route, for which is ready to contribute to develop air transport in Africa.
He said: “Ethiopian serves the Nigerian travellers from four airports of Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano. To reinforce its support for Nigeria, Ethiopian Airlines is offering to hire Nigeria pilots for its ever growing fleet of aircraft and train more Nigerians in our aviation academy, which is the largest in Africa.”
He said despite the economic crisis facing the country, the airline had no plans of leaving and would continue its operations.
Begashaw said: ”Ethiopian Airlines wish to inform its esteemed Nigerian passengers that it will continue its scheduled operations to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, despite the recent withdrawal by some airlines out of Lagos and Abuja.
“As a veteran Pan-African carrier, it has always been our source of pride to serve our beloved continent, Africa, both in good and bad times. Our presence in Nigeria dates back to the 1960, same time the Federal Republic of Nigeria got independence. Ethiopian Airlines has been part of Nigeria’s historic growth and always considers itself as a partner in the history and growth of the country.
“Hence, the management of Ethiopian Airlines wish to clarify its stance of pursuing its operations to Nigeria and keeping Nigerian travellers connected to five continents around the globe. As a Pan-African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines will remain with the Nigerian public in good and bad times like it has always done in the past 50 years.”
According to Begashaw, the airlines do not wish to be in Nigeria only when the going is good, but rather makes sacrifice along with Nigerians in trying times.
“Nigerians are resilient and resourceful and will soon come out of the temporary recession,” he said.
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