At a press conference held at the Hilton Addis on Friday, August 7, 2009, Ato Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines revealed that the company has achieved a remarkable record of high financial performance for the fiscal year 2008/2009. The achievement is unmatched to any past performance results in the history of the Airline.
According to the financial reports released at the Conference, Ethiopian generated 12.2 billion birr in operating revenue during the said budget year, a 32.8% increase over the previous year. For the period in review and for the first time ever, the national carrier realized a net profit of 1,345 million birr, representing a whopping increase of 165%.
Ethiopian transported 2.8 million passengers during the year in review, registering an increase of 12.3% over the results of the previous year. The substantial growth in revenue and the resultant operating and net profits are, among other factors, directly attributed to the apparent growth of traffic.
There has also been continued expansion of cargo services. During the period in review, Ethiopian hauled 101 thousand tons of cargo, 38.4% more than that transported in the previous year. Ethiopian’s cargo provides vital services to our customers who are in the business of exports and imports. This is yet another unique and pioneering endeavor by the national airline to primarily encourage and promote Africa’s export trade to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. No other airline in Africa avails cargo services of such dimension and magnitude.
According to Ato Girma, the CEO, “The overall performance of the airline is noteworthy and rewarding considering the numerous challenges we have had to cope with during the year, the major ones of which are, cut throat competition in the industry, global economic crisis, escalating operational and capital costs led by the less than predictable and fluid gyration of fuel prices and the shrinking trends of the market environment.”
Determined to sustain the momentum and in line with its vision 2010 and beyond, Ethiopian has recently placed firm orders for the acquisition of five B777-200LRs from the Boeing Company, and twelve A350-900s from Airbus valued at a total of 4.2 billion US dollars. This new purchase will bring the total number of airplanes on order to 35 including the ten B787s previously purchased from Boeing and eight Q400 turboprops from Bombardier. Ethiopian Airlines is the first African carrier to order and operate the ultra-long range B777-200LR. The 777-200LR is the only airplane in the world that offers the range and efficiency Ethiopian needs to serve long-haul markets and further position Addis Ababa as a strategic hub for Africa. The A350-900 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of customer comfort, the lowest operating costs and lower seat-mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. It is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations and environmental constraints.
Ato Girma concluded his presentation by asserting that, “Ethiopian Airlines remains focused on its Vision 2010 and is very optimistic to reach and realize its defined objectives sooner than the end of the current budget year”.
In August 2008, Ethiopian won the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry.
Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.
Ethiopian was the winner of the ‘2008 Best Airline in Africa Award’ at the African Travel Award in Lagos, Nigeria, for its excellent network and convenient connections in Africa.
In July 2009 Ethiopian won ‘Airline of the Year 2009’ award at African Business Award organized by the London based African Business Magazine and Common Wealth Business Council.
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Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam Group Chief Executive Officer