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Ethiopian invests heavily on digital technology

Ethiopian invests heavily on digital technology

Online sales grows by 150 percent

Ethiopian Airlines has invested more than USD 40 million in the past five years on latest ICT technologies to boost online sales.

The airline made the investment to acquire and develop data center, systems and softwares.  The airline digital department has internally developed a mobile application that enabled customers to book a flight, pay and check in using their mobile phones.  

Miretab Teklaye , director integrated marketing communication, told The Reporter that Ethiopian has set ICT as the four pillars of the Vision 2025. Fleet, human resource, Network and systems are the four pillars of Vision 2025, the airlines 15 year growth road map.  

“We are in the digital era and we are providing our customers seamless operational services using latest communication technologies,” Miretab said.

Ethiopian launched the mobile up in 2018 and today has close to one million users. On line sales represents 25 percent of the total sales volume. “Our online sales has grown to 25 percent and plan to increase this figure to 50 percent by 2022,” Miretab said.

“Ethiopian Airlines corporate strategy is to be cost leader by providing global standard service. To be a cost leader one of the driver is operational excellence that we offer using communication technology,” he added.  

In Ethiopia the local online sales has reached 40 percent. The mobile APP offers local languages including Amharic, Ormoiffa and Tigrigna. It also offers local payment options. In Ethiopia the airline offers 12 payment options by collaborating with local banks and CBE Birr, M Cash and Hello cash.

In Africa Ethiopian offer 35 payment options including Mpesa, Air Tel, MTN and ECO Bank. In China it uses Ali Pay and We Chat. It also provides local payment options in Brazil. “We use localised features. We are providing operational excellence using IT technologies.”

The Mobile APP offers 11 foreign languages including English, Italian, French and Portuguese.

The airline digital team is now developing a mobile APP named Feel Addis that enables lay over passengers who stay a night in Addis Ababa to secure their transit visa, hotel voucher and go through the airport. “The lay over passengers can use the APP to see around Addis Ababa. It helps them experience the night life and go out for shopping. We also have a Chat Bot on telegram and messenger called Lucy,” Miretab said.  

“Our every process uses technology-best breed technologies. All the value chain- booking payment, ticketing, checking and immigration process, boarding end to end experience is digitised. We are providing personalised service standard service for all our customers. We are reachable from any part of the world at any time,” he added.

According to Miretab, though the airline has the website for many years the growth on desktop is static while the mobile APP utilization is growing fast. “So we are investing a lot to diversify our channels.”

In 2019 Ethiopian made an online sales transaction in Ethiopia worth 12 billion birr out of which is 2.7 billion birr of sales was made through the mobile APP. According to Miretab, the online sales is growing by 130-150 every year.