It has been seven decades Ethiopian Airlines has been in business of providing airline services. It has also been consistent, and gradually growing into becoming Africa’s largest airline group and most prestigious. The airline has modern technology with state-of-the-art fleets.
Ethiopian Airlines provides services to 98 international destinations across five continents and commands the largest share in Pan-African passengers and cargo network. It has been consistently growing annually at 25 percent in the past seven years. It targets 120 international destinations worldwide by the year 2025.
The airline is currently implementing 15 years strategic plan “Vision 2025” to make it the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business divisions: Ethiopian Domestic and Regional Airline; Ethiopian International Passenger Airline; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services; and Ethiopian Ground Services.
Ethiopian Airlines announced in January 2017, that it ended the year 2016 with what it described as “fast and profitable growth”. It said they can be seen in fleets and network expansions. It also announced plans to launch seven new destinations within five months of the year 2017. The airline sees this as one of the greatest expansions in its history.
Between February and June, 2017, Ethiopian Airlines will launch new services to Victoria Falls, a notable tourism site in Zimbabwe; Antananarivo in Madagascar; Conakry in Guinea; Oslo in Norway; Chengdu in China; Jakarta in Indonesia and Singapore in Singapore. These additional destinations move Ethiopian Airlines services from Addis Ababa to 98 different international cities across the world.
In 2016, Ethiopian Airlines launched new flights to Moroni in Comoros; Windhoek in Namibia; and Newark in United State; and to three cities in Ethiopia: Hawassa, Kebridahar and Dembidolo.
On the performance of Ethiopian Airlines in 2016, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO said: “2016 has been an exceptionally challenging year for the African Aviation industry. Commodity exporting countries in general and oil exporting African countries in particular have been hit hard by the global decline of commodity prices. As a result, demand for air travel has been suppressed and the shortage of foreign exchange has severally affected the financial performance of airlines in the content.”
GebreMariam added: “Yet, at Ethiopian, we are very proud of the new heights Ethiopian has flown in the year. We celebrated our 70th anniversary, inaugurated the largest and the finest Aviation Academy in Africa and a state-of-the-art In-flight Catering facility which is the largest in the continent of Africa, introduced Africa’s first Ethiopian Airbus A350, and spread our wings to more countries on 5 continents.”
Further, he said: “Despite the sluggish growth in the world’s matured market, all of our 12,000 colleagues remained focused on the robust execution of our vision 2025, which has proved to be a winning strategy in today’s hyper-competitive and complex airline business. We wish to thank our valued customers for their continued vote of confidence on our services and for making Ethiopian as their airline of choice.”
On growth prospects, Tewolde GebreMariam said: “Africa’s share of the Global Aviation is the smallest which is only around 3%. As the largest airline group in the continent, we are highly concerned on the low base of air connectivity in the continent and we are setting record expansion to enable Africans enjoy safe, reliable and economical air connectivity both within the continent and between the continent and the rest of the world.”
He added: “Looking beyond the current economic slowdown especially in the oil export dependent economies of Africa, we firmly believe that the continent will become the magnet for foreign direct investment, trade and tourism, which are the engines of air travel growth and in turn efficient air connectivity also drives socio economic development and we are happy to contribute our share in the 21st Century African Transformation.”
In 2012, at the airlines headquarters at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the airline’s management through its Director of Sales and Services, Central and West Africa, Mr. Aba Milki Abagoro disclosed that the national carrier would grow it revenue by $9.5billion in 2025.
The airline was confident it would generate the projected revenue, given its past antecedents in projections. The management was also confident the airline would multiply its staff size from 5,615 to 16,899 and its fleet from 45 to 112, and double the number of destinations from 79 to 121 and seven-fold cargo uplift to 710,000.