Press Releases 15 September 2019

Ethiopian Airlines launches WeChat Pay and KNET with CellPoint Digital’s Velocity payment platform

News Ethiopian

CellPoint Digital enables Ethiopian Airlines to rapidly deploy two new popular alternative forms of payment to serve its fast-growing Chinese and Middle Eastern markets

LONDON, 16th September 2019 – Ethiopian Airlines, the largest aviation group in Africa and 4-star SkyTrax certified global airline, is expanding its partnership with CellPoint Digital (, a leading provider of digital commerce and payment solutions for airlines, to offer more popular payment methods to its passengers.

Last year, Ethiopian Airlines adopted CellPoint’s Velocity payment platform to implement a mobile-first payment strategy and create a more seamless customer experience in its mobile app. Ethiopian Airlines initially added Alipay and saw promising growth in bookings through its mobile app in some markets. Ethiopian Airlines is now introducing WeChat Pay and KNET to cater to the international travel market.

China is set to displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market by the mid-2020s and is a key growth market for Ethiopian Airlines. Millions of Chinese tourists use Alipay and WeChat Pay to make travel purchases, and together these two alternative forms of payment cover more than 90% of the Chinese market. Currently, Ethiopian Airlines is seeking to better serve Chinese travellers by introducing WeChat Pay alongside its Alipay option.

Ethiopian Airlines is also looking to expand into the Middle East region, which IATA predicts to grow annually by 4.4%. The region has a growing population of young, tech-savvy travellers who want to pay quickly and easily using a familiar payment method. To cater to Kuwaiti passengers, Ethiopian Airlines will now accept KNET, the most popular local payment option.

“As we expand into new markets, we want to ensure the payment process on our mobile app is as seamless as possible for our passengers” said Miretab Teklaye, Digital Director of Ethiopian Airlines “Working with CellPoint Digital as our technology partner allows us to quickly add new payment methods to meet the needs of consumers in these regions. The introduction of WeChat Pay and KNET is the first of many new payment methods we plan to roll out, as we look to expand further into the Middle East, India and Europe.”

WeChat Pay and KNET are being deployed for Ethiopian Airlines through CellPoint Digital’s Velocity payment platform – a full merchant-side payment control environment built specifically for the travel industry. Velocity enables airlines and travel companies to activate new, alternative forms of payment in weeks instead of months and to build a customized payment ecosystem that meets the needs of customers in specific markets.

“Ethiopian Airlines is committed to providing the best possible digital experience for their customers, and our Velocity payment platform can introduce rapidly any global wallet or local payment method Ethiopian needs for their mobile app or other digital channel.” Said Ciaran Wilson, Senior Sales and Account Director for MEA at CellPoint Digital. “We look forward to growing alongside Ethiopian Airlines, helping them to eliminate payment friction in all their markets.”

CellPoint Digital partners with African carriers across the continent to increase conversions in the mobile channel, reduce fraud, boost revenue through flights and ancillary offers, and create more seamless payment experiences for their customers.

For more information about the Ethiopian Airlines deployment or to interview Ciaran Wilson of CellPoint Digital, please contact Vanessa Horwell at

About CellPoint Digital

We make travel easier™ for airlines, travel merchants and their customers.

CellPoint Digital is both a fintech and a travel tech company. We provide powerful digital commerce and payment solutions that enable airlines and other travel merchants to simplify their systems, unify their customer experience and boost their digital transactions across website, mobile web and mobile apps. CellPoint Digital offers two omni-channel modular platforms. Velocity is a unique payment control platform that optimizes all digital payment transactions, from cards or alternative forms of payment, and accelerates the deployment of new payment methods. Voyage is a full digital platform that masters the entire customer sales cycle (Promote, Sell, Pay, Serve) and optimizes end-to-end conversion rates. CellPoint Digital has offices in Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, Miami, Pune and Singapore.
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About Ethiopian
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seventy plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent's leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.

Ethiopian commands the lion's share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 110 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft.

Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with eight business centers: Ethiopian Regional Services; Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering; Ethiopian Ground Services and Ethiopian Airports Services. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.