Africa’s largest Airline Group, Ethiopian Airlines enjoyed a fast and profitable growth in 2016. While the carrier has increased its fleet by 8 aircraft in 2016, it has also expanded its flight network. Besides several awards received in 2016 for its high quality product and services, Ethiopian is also proud of its new Aviation Academy.
Recapping the Airline’s performance in 2016, Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, 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 severely affected the financial performance of airlines in the continent. 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.
“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.”
With the addition of 8 new flights, Ethiopian has closed the year with 82 airplanes in service. For the first time in its history, Ethiopian has diversified to include Airbus aircraft, with Africa’s first A350. With an average fleet age of just five years, Ethiopian has one of the youngest and most modern fleet in the world. Ethiopian has heavily invested in the two most technologically advanced fleet of our time: the B787 Dream Liner and the A350.
In 2016 Ethiopian launched new international flights to the Comoros Islands, Windhoek, and Newark and domestic routes to Hawassa, Kebridahar and Dembidolo.
Ethiopian’s world class service has been recognized: SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline Staff in Africa and Rising Star Carrier of the Year Award (both for the second year in a row), Cargo Airline of the Year, and African Airline of the Year Award are few to mention.
Ethiopian has successfully completed the modification of all our Boeing 787 Dreamliners with lie-flat beds. We have expanded and renovated our lounges in our Addis hub. In line with our new Inflight catering facilities, we have invested in upgrading our inflight meals with new menus, new cutlery, on board plating, new chinaware and new service delivery.
The carrier has also revamped its ShebaMiles Frequent Flyer Program with a major focus on enhancing its customers’ experience.
On ground, new advance check-in procedure to enable customers check-in at their convenience, newly designed website, self-check-in and self-boarding.
Ethiopian has built largest and the latest Aviation Academy in Africa, with an investment of USD 100 million. The Academy has the best aviation training technology that an airline academy can offer; full range of fleet cabin emergency, evacuation and door trainers fitted with a high standard swimming pool for cabin crew ditching exercises and more than 20 pilot training aircraft, Class Rooms, Student Cafeteria, Auditorium Hall, Student dormitory, Green compound with space for outdoor sports.
This article first appeared on www.ftnnews.com