Ethiopian Airlines vs Kenya Airways: Which is best and safer to fly?



Ethiopian Airlines founded on December 21, 1945, and started its official business of flight operations on April 1946. Kenya Airways was founded in late 1977 immediately after the dissolution of the East African Airways. The airline is headquartered in Embakasi, Nairobi, Kenya. Just like Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways is the flag carrier airline of Kenya.

Akesse Sanza on Kenya Airways

Akesse Sanza on Kenya Airways

The two airlines are some of the finest of Africa’s airlines.

If you are having difficulties choosing between these airlines, see some of the reviews from passengers.

“I’m planning a trip from Edinburgh to Malawi in September 2015. In my planning, the cheapest flight options are coming up as these two. Either: Edinburgh – Amsterdam – Nairobi – Lilongwe on Kenya Airways or Edinburgh – (either LHR or Frankfurt) – Addis Ababa – Lilongwe on Ethiopian. For the long haul portion, Kenya is on a 777 and Ethiopian is on a 787 Dreamliner. I have flown Amsterdam – Nairobi return on Kenya Airways 777 back in 2008 and it was, quite frankly, awful. Cramped, terrible IFE (the kind of not-quite-on-demand type), not great service, and the seat in front seemed slightly broken so that the guy in it could recline it so far and shove himself so far back I could hardly make out my IFE screen because of the angle the screen ended up at (never mind what that did to my knees). So, I’m kind of biased against Kenya, based on one really bad experience.” Said Ddootsie.

“I flew Kenya airways from Schiphol to Nairobi a month ago on the 777. I quite liked the flight and I’m a grumpy traveler. The seats are 9 across, which is much nicer than Emirates 10 across in economy. The service and food quality was fine; the FA gave me 2 small bottles of wine every time I asked for a drink. The IFE wasn’t Emirates standard; but whose is? but overall it was ok. I had no problems with the flight, the crew or the service. Still it’s up to you.” Said Rick.


“Well, Ethiopian airlines drove a rousing start to my holiday vacation to my beloved mother land Ghana, Accra with an amazing promotional fare. The surprise continues with the professional and passionate cabin crew service aboard Ethiopian Boeing 787, coupled with the unique features of this beautiful Bird: best entertainment options…personalized charging points…. its. Pin drop silence flight with best economy class services…. all in all, I have to confess, I had the best in flight experience ever and they are an airline of my choice and dare to recommend them.” Said Mae K.

“I fly a lot in Africa and would chose Ethiopian over Kenya every day. Ethiopian have come down a bit but are still better than Kenya. However, the flight staff of Kenya Airways can make a big difference. They are giving a great service (in general), something a bit rare these days and in contrast to the ground staff. Plus, I clearly prefer Addis over Nairobi airport. So I would rather choose Ethiopian.”, said Phil.

“I think what is most important is to have all flights on one ticket and to book whenever possible directly with the airline. This is even more important in Africa. Ethiopian is member of Star Alliance; Kenya of Sky Team. Personally I would prefer Star Alliance but it depends on you and if you are a miles member of any alliance airline. With regards to your booking, try not to mix different alliance members. If anything should go wrong with a flight and you are within an alliance the solution can be easier than if you are flying different segments with different alliance members.” Said Georg-R.

“Booked today with Ethiopian via Frankfurt. Single ticket, guaranteed connections, 2 x 23Kg hold bags per person. Thanks for the input!” said Erica.

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Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian Travel Blogger, Travel and Tourism Consultant, and Anti-human Trafficking And Safe Migration advocate. Akesse loves everything Travel & Tourism and aims to see every single country in the world.


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