Two state-owned giants, Ethio-telecom and Ethiopian Airlines, forged a deal this week that would enable customers use the Telebirr app to buy domestic flight tickets.
The announcement held at Skylight Hotel on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, is hoped would help the airline realize its plans to expand its domestic-flight clientele base to 2.52 million people by the end of 2022.
Ethio-Telecom’s CEO, Frehiwot Tamiru noted that the deal would allow for an easy, fast and secure ticket purchasing experience.
According to Lema Yadecha, chief commercial officer (COO) with Ethiopian Airlines, the agreement would expand payment options for customers and potentially deliver efficient and reliable flight booking services.
The national carrier serves some 6,900 customers daily on its domestic service.
Piloted since April 14, 2022, some 6.67 million birr worth of tickets have been sold via the app. Frehiwot said the use of the app is environmentally friendly by cutting down paper consumption.
“Telebirr is playing a pivotal role in fostering the digital economy the nation aspires to achieve along with improving our community’s digital payment experience and modernize the existing customary cash transaction of institutions,” Frehiwot said.
With Telebirr ticket prices capped at 30,000 birr, Lema said travelers to short-haul destinations as Dubai, Jeddah and Khartoum could also use Tele’s app to book flights.
Ethio telecom has 64 million subscribers and since its launch in May 2021; 17.6 million customers have used the service with transactions worth over 12.5 billion birr made.
There are also plans to provide small loan and saving services via Telebirr, pending a green light from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Frehiwot said.