Featured Image via Flickr/Christeler Stephane
Ethiopian Airlines is the largest airline on the African continent. The airline possesses a variety of aircraft models ranging from the Boeing 757-500 to the Airbus A350 aircraft. They are the second airline worldwide to operate the B787 Dreamliner. Their fleet of aircrafts have an average fleet age of five years. Additionally, the airline has routes that span worldwide and has the biggest amount of pan-African passengers and cargo networks.
On May 23, 2018, the airline announced it would be receiving its 100th aircraft in June. This acquisition has made it the first African courier a fleet of that size. The airlines stated it was: “pleased to announce that it will take delivery on 5 June 2018 of its 100th aircraft, a Boeing 787-900, the first for an African airline to operate 100 aircraft fleet in the history of the continent.” The airline went on to explain that the acquisition of the 100th aircraft is and indication of “its pioneering aviation technology leadership role and ascertaining its leadership position in all aspects of Aviation Services in the continent.”
In fact, the 100th aircraft has encouraged the airline to revise their plans. The airline states that “this 100 fleet milestone, which we have achieved ahead of our Vision 2025 targets, compels us to revise our plans with a view to phase in more aircraft and further expand our network so as to meet the growing travel needs of our continent and support its economic development.” Additionally, according to Business Insider, Ethiopian airlines has doubled their passengers and increased their profits five times. This has allowed the airlines to surpass the target they set in 2025.
This is not the only milestone the airline has achieved. The airline made a historic touchdown earlier this June at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. This touchdown marked the first direct scheduled flight between any market in Chicago and Africa. This will be O’Hare’s 19th new international destination this year.
The new route will occur three times weekly from Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) to Chicago. The route will cover 7581 miles, rendering the route as the longest route operating from Chicago. According to Bizjournals, the route is estimated to gross $70 million to the city. Thus, not only is Ethiopia airlines expanding its routes, but also it will have a huge economic impact on Africa, as this will establish more global business and trade partnerships in Africa.
Ethiopian airlines’ CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, went on to state that the interests of Ethiopian airlines expansion is in the interests of Africa. He said, “I don’t consider African airlines as a competition. I consider them as partners because the fact of the matter is today when we put all of us together in the continent, we only have 20 percent of the market share of intercontinental traffic. So, I think we have to cooperate and partner more to increase the market share from 20 percent to at least 50 percent.” This is a clear indication of that the airlines’ strategy aligns with fostering economic impact in Africa.