Even brighter prospects ahead, owing to fast growth of Africa-Europe trade
Ethiopian Airlines and Liege Airport have agreed to extend for another 5 years their win-win partnership for the transport of air cargo between Africa and Europe.
Liege Airport has been serving as Ethiopian main European cargo hub since 2008 for Ethiopian flower exports to the European market and the import of high value goods into Africa.
Ethiopian and Liege Airport 5 years partnership has been very successful thanks the phenomenal growth of trade between Africa and Europe and their ability to tap into this growth by leveraging the operational excellence of Ethiopian Cargo, Africa’s largest cargo operator, and the state-of-the art cargo facilities and services at Liege Airport.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Mr Tewolde Gebremariam, said: "Ethiopian has become a truly global cargo operator with 8 dedicated freighters, including B777-200 LR freighters serving 24 cargo destinations on 4 continents, and a growing cargo infrastructure, including the construction of a 1.2 million tons annual capacity cargo terminal in Addis Ababa.
Liege Airport is our main cargo hub for the European market and has been instrumental in the success of Ethiopian flower exports to Europe. We currently operate 3 wide-body B777-200 LR freighters to Liège every single day during the peak season. I wish to thank Liege Airport, its management and staff, for their top notch service and facilities, which were critical in making our partnership successful. With Africa’s economic growth in general and Ethiopia’s export-driven growth in particular, the prospects are indeed very bright for our long and mutually beneficial partnership to continue to thrive".
Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport, added that "As our first client to and from Africa we are proud to serve Ethiopian Airlines since their start with wide-bodies to and from Europe; the fact that Ethiopian Airlines extends our cooperation based on aforementioned reasons confirms our excellence in perishables, the flexibility of our services, the availability 24h a day, and the interconnectivity with all the operators based at Liege airport."
Both Ethiopian and Liege Airport expect traffic to continue to grow robustly in 2015 and thereafter. In line with its strategic roadmap Vision 2025, Ethiopian Cargo, which currently uplifts 200,000 tons of cargo annually, plans to uplift 800,000 tons per annum by operating to 37 freighter destinations using 20 dedicated cargo aircraft by 2025.
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing and most profitable airline in Africa. In 2014, IATA ranked Ethiopian as the largest airline in Africa in revenue and profit. In its operations in the past close to seven decades, Ethiopian has been a pioneer of African aviation as an aircraft technology leader providing the first jet service in the continent in 1962, and availing the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010 and the first African and second only to Japan B787 Dreamliner in 2012.
Ethiopian commands the lion share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 83 international destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as the Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200LR Freighter and Bombardier Q-400 with double cabin. 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 airline group in Africa with seven strategic business units: Ethiopian International Passenger Service; Ethiopian Regional Service; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Service and Ethiopian Ground Service. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning, including SKYTRAX and Passenger Choice Awards in 2013 and has been registering an average growth of 25% per annum in the past seven years.
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About Liege Airport
LIEGE AIRPORT is The Flexport®
Very strategically located, right in the heart of and directly connected to the major European markets, all services and stakeholders at Liege Airport are continuously available (H24/7 - No curfew - No congestion – And no slots requirements) providing the fastest and most convenient infrastructure and services to the cargo community.
Flexibility, high speed turnarounds, utmost cost reduction and close partnership with all our stakeholders are our main aspirations. Liege Airport is fully focussing on cargo operations and is specialized in express cargo, pharmaceuticals, live animals, perishables, and oversized cargo (with in 2014 a total of 591.000 tons).
Interconnectivity between full freighter networks operated by a continuously growing number of based airlines at Liege Airport, covering a wide range of destinations in every continent and makes from Liege Airport indeed the largest Euro-African hub thanks to the dedication of our expert ground-handlers and of our authorities ensuring flexible and smooth operations for our partners.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam Group Chief Executive Officer