Eritrean Airlines

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Eritrean Airlines
Eritrean Airlines logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedMay 1991 (1991-05)
Commenced operationsApril 2003 (2003-04)
HubsAsmara International Airport
Fleet size1
Company sloganGateway to Africa
Parent companyGovernment of Eritrea (80%) Ethiopian Airlines (20%)
HeadquartersAsmara, Eritrea
WebsiteEritrean Airlines

Eritrean Airlines, shortened to Eritrean, is the national airline of Eritrea.[1] Based at Asmara International Airport, it is wholly owned by the government of Eritrea.[2] Scheduled service had been discontinued since 2008, and the airline operated only a few hajj flights every year.[2] The airline was restarted under new management in 2011 and in 2011, Nasair, a privately owned company, merged with government-owned Eritrean Airlines, to form Nasair Eritrea.[3]

Eritrean Airlines has been banned from flying into the European Union since December 2012.


The airline was nominally established in May 1991 (1991-05),[4] serving as the ground handling agent at Asmara International Airport and at Assab and Massawa. It also acted as sales agent for other major airlines flying to Eritrea. In May 2002, it was decided to expand into airline services. In April 2003 (2003-04), an ex-EgyptAir 14-year-old Boeing 767-300ER was leased from Boeing and used to start operations between Asmara and Amsterdam.[5][6] It was the first aircraft the airline took possession of,[6] and was named Queen Bee.[citation needed]

Eritrean Airlines’ first aircraft was a Boeing 767-300ER named Queen Bee. The airplane is seen here at Frankfurt Airport in 2004.

The lease of the first Boeing 767 seems to have been replaced by an Airbus A320 in 2006 and then replaced again with a Boeing 757 in early 2007. It was again replaced with a DC-9 in late 2007, ending up with an MD-83.[citation needed]

In April 2003, Eritrean Airlines started regular services between Asmara and Frankfurt, Milan, Nairobi and Rome.[4][additional citation(s) needed] In 2004, the airline added Amsterdam as another destination and in 2005, services began to Djibouti and Dubai. Meanwhile, the Nairobi route was dropped. By 2006, the flights to Amsterdam had been dropped while flights to Milan remained seasonal.[7] On 21 September 2006, Eritrean Airlines entered an accord with the Government of Pakistan to start direct flights between Eritrea and Pakistan. Eritrean Airlines received permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan to start two flights a week each for Karachi and Lahore.[8] Eventually service was operated via Dubai four times per week on each route, with full fifth freedom passenger and cargo traffic rights on the Dubai - Pakistan sectors.[citation needed]

A Tunisia-registered Airbus A320-200 in Eritrean Airlines new livery on short final to Dubai International Airport in 2012.

The airline announced in 2008 that it was commencing seasonal services to Bamako, for Hajj travellers.[9] Flights to Djibouti were discontinued at the end of 2008 due to renewed tensions along the two countries' border, and flights to Frankfurt were cancelled in the summer of 2009.[10]

In June 2011, a senior Eritrean Foreign Ministry official said that the United States government had applied pressure prohibiting companies from leasing aircraft to Eritrea. He stated that Washington was resorting to such illegal acts as part of its hostile attempts of stiffening anti-Eritrea sanctions, at a time when the Eritrean government was engaged in buying and leasing of passenger planes under new Pakistani management.[11]

Eritrean Airlines resumed operations on 16 July 2011. It also introduced a new livery on the first A320 received, which was used for the inaugural service to Dubai and Lahore. A second A320 was added in October, and flights to Karachi were launched. The carrier also planned to restore domestic services once the currently stored Dornier fleet was made airworthy. Long-term fleet plans may include introduction of wide body aircraft like the Airbus A330, as well as new Boeing 737s to replace the A320.[12]

EU ban[edit]

Eritrean Airlines was not included in the list of airlines banned in the European Union (EU) that was released in April 2012 (2012-04).[13] According to all the subsequent lists released by the European Commission since December 2012 (2012-12), the airline has been barred from flying into every country of the EU.[14]


As of July 2018, Eritrean serves the following destinations:[15]

Country City Airport Name Notes Refs
Egypt Cairo Cairo International Airport [15]
Ethiopia Addis Ababa Bole International Airport [16]
Eritrea Asmara Asmara International Airport Hub [15]
Germany Frankfurt Frankfurt Airport Terminated [17]
Italy Milan Malpensa International Airport [15]
Italy Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport Terminated [17]
Nigeria Kano Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport [18]
Pakistan Karachi Jinnah International Airport Terminated [19]
Pakistan Lahore Allama Iqbal International Airport Terminated [19]
Saudi Arabia Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport [15]
South Africa Cape Town Cape Town International Airport Terminated [20]
South Africa Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport Terminated [20]
Sudan Khartoum Khartoum International Airport [15]
Sudan Port Sudan Port Sudan New International Airport Terminated [21]
United Arab Emirates Dubai Dubai International Airport [15]


Current fleet[edit]

Eritrean Airlines Boeing 767 on short final to Dubai International Airport in 2005.

The Eritrean Airlines fleet in July 2018 consists of a single leased Boeing 737-300.[22][23] Eritrean is also said to have six Dornier aircraft, which are stored in Eritrea.[12]

Former fleet[edit]

The airline previously operated the following equipment:[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Juma, Victor (27 September 2011). "Kenya: KQ and Eritrea Airlines Set for Turf War Over the Nairobi-Asmara Route". Business Daily Africa. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Profile on Eritrean Airlines". Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Eritrean Airlines and NasAir Merged | .:TesfaNews:". 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 11 October 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Takes Off Next Month". 24 March 2003. Archived from the original on 22 August 2003. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "African airlines add 767s for European flights". Flightglobal. 6 May 2003. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Begins Operations with a New Boeing 767". Boeing. 29 April 2003. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Pakistan, Eritrea to start direct flight". Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Eritrean Airlines Begins Flight to Mali to Transport Haj Travelers of the Islamic Faith From West Africa to Saudi Arabia". 10 November 2008. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Items tagged with Frankfurt | capitaleritrea news Archived 7 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Senior Official Exposes Washington’s Pressure To Undermine The Work Plans Of Eritrean Airlines Archived 16 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b "Revival of the Eritrean Airlines". 22 July 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  13. ^ "List of airlines banned within the EU" (PDF). European Commission. 3 April 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "Eritrean Airlines flight schedule". Archived from the original on 10 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Eritrean Airlines flights to Addis Ababa". Airportia. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Cancels Frankfurt Service from Oct 2012". Airline Route. 11 September 2012.
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b "Can we emulate EA for a turnaround in PIA?". The News. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Eritrean Airlines Starts South Africa Service". Airline Route. 8 May 2012.
  21. ^ "Sudan: Eritrean Airlines Begins New Flight From and to Asmara-Port Sudan". 28 February 2015. Archived from the original on 20 June 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help) 
  22. ^ "UPDATE 2-Ethiopian Airlines says it is in talks for stake in Eritrean Airlines". 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Dining in piccola roma". The Reporter. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  24. ^ "SubFleets for: Eritrean Airlines". AeroTransport Data Bank. 18 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ "Eritrean Airlines Fleet". ch-aviation GmbH. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  26. ^ "Eritrean Airlines adding Airbus A320 to return to Europe". Caperi. Caperi. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Eritrean Airlines Adding Airbus A320 to Return to Europe". EastAFRO. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 13.

External links[edit]

Media related to Eritrean Airlines at Wikimedia Commons