Ethiopian Airlines fires employees at Frankfurt and other offices

After more than 50 years of service in Frankfurt am Main Germany, and after the publishing of Ethiopian Airlines so-called profitability, the airline seems to have decided that it does not need its own employees (some of which have served the airline for more than 30 years) anymore and will close its Frankfurt office in the spring of 2010. While there seems to be enough money to buy planes (the airline recently ordered new Boeing and Airbus planes) and to set up new routes, the airline is now letting go the employees that have made the company profitable over the last decades, some of them just a year before retirement.

It remains to be seen if the service will be constant, as there will no longer be a ticket office in the city but just a phone contact to a general sales agent somewhere in the outskirts of Frankfurt. Native Ethiopian customers (locally located and on travels from Ethiopia and abroad) will likely no longer be served in their native language as none of the former employees (and with them their language skills) are kept.

While Frankfurt has been one of Ethiopian Airlines' most prestigious and historical offices outside of Addis Ababa, the only remnants will now be the Area and Airport manager. The Ethiopian employees and local emplyees seem to be no longer needed, because in the name of profitabilty the care for the people (and their associated families) that work for the company has been lost.

As the route Addis Ababa-Frankfurt am Main is now being served by more competitors than just Lufthansa, this implies Ethiopian Airlines will now offer the same product with less service for a higher price than many of its competitors on the same route. It remains to be seen, if this makes long-term business sense in the future, or if this decision is short sighted in terms of customer service satisfaction and the implications on business profitability. The customer will notice the difference and the company might suffer financial losses on the route as well as a damage to its reputation.