The Igbo Ekunie Initiative, an Igbo socio-cultural organization of professionals in Nigeria and the diaspora had written to the Ethiopian Airlines and tasked them to reverse the wide disparity in fares charged to passengers flying to and from Enugu when compared to other airports in Nigeria.
In a letter made available to the press, the organisation noted that after undertaking a research of the airfare charged by Ethiopian Airline in Nigeria, the organisation noticed that there existed a very wide array of
between the fares passengers pay to different destinations from Enugu compared to other International airports in Nigeria.
Igbo Ekunie noted that a situation where a passenger from Kuala Lumpur pays N343, 000 to fly to Enugu, while the same passenger would pay N170, 000 to fly to Lagos or N192, 000 to Kano is highly discriminately against Ndiigbo who mostly fly to and from Enugu. Disparities were noticed on other routes as well.
Igbo Ekunie further noted that beyond being a monopoly on the Enugu route, there was no other logical justification for such wide fare disparities by the same airline flying to the same country.
In the letter signed by the President of the organisation Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke and Mr Agu Onwuamaeze the head of the Economic Directorate, they argued that the fare disparities have forced a lot of people to travel to other cities rather than go through Enugu to save cost.
In responding to the letter addressed to the company CEO, the Ethiopian Airline manager at Enugu airport, Mr Solomon Mekonnen, thanked Igbo Ekunie for taking the time to write, and promised that they have immediately started reviewing all their fares to Enugu and making the necessary adjustments. “we are working with our pricing department for some adjustments on our fares, and within few days we will adjust our fares where we have a huge fare difference compared to Lagos or Abuja” he said.
In a recent communication to Igbo Ekunie, the Ethiopian Airline confirmed that they have lived up to their promise by reviewing the fares and adjusting them to reflect fair pricing comparable to other routes in Nigeria. The Airline further informed the organisation of their new route to Enugu from Manchester United Kingdom, Chicago United States, and Barcelona Spain effective this December, and also their plans to increase their services to Enugu from three to four days a week.
It will be recalled that the Ethiopian Airline started flying into Enugu since August 2014, and they recently landed a Boeing 787 900 series in Enugu in January this year as a testament to its growing customer base. They carried the most international passengers from Nigeria of any airline in 2017.
Igbo Ekunie, therefore, calls on all passengers from the South East and surrounding states to increase their patronage of Ethiopian Airline via Akanu Ibiam International Airport since the fares have been adjusted to reflect fair pricing comparable to other routes in Nigeria. The organisation also reasons that improved patronage through Enugu will also help keep the airfares competitive, and lead to further increases in the frequency of Ethiopian Airline international flights to Enugu.