By Abdi Ali and eTurboNews
Published November 16, 2017
Ethiopian won the award during the 49th Annual General Assembly of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on November 13, 2017.
The aims of the AFRAA awards are to recognise excellence in service delivery, innovation and competitiveness in airlines, individuals and service providers in the African aviation industry.
“As a truly indigenous and home-grown Pan-
African airline owned, managed and operated by Africans,” says Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, “we are highly honoured to receive this recognition by fellow sisterly airlines in the continent for the 6th consecutive year. I would like to thank AFRAA and sisterly airlines in the continent for recognising our efforts in nurturing cooperation with other sisterly African Airlines and in availing efficient passenger and cargo networks within, to and from the continent, while registering sound financial performance and record profit in 2016.”
Saying Africa is at the heart of Ethiopian Airlines’ “15 year fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategic roadmap, ‘Vision 2025’, GebreMariam says the airline has already surpassed all its goals in passenger number, cargo uplift, fleet size, revenue, profitability and customer service seven years into its Vision 2025 strategy
GebreMariam says Ethiopian currently serves “55 African cities, the largest network in the continent, connecting them with each other and to more than 100 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas using state of the art aircraft offering superior on-board aircraft such as the B787s and A350s.”
Terming air transport an “essential and critical public service and a key enabler for socio-economic development and integration” in Africa, GebreMariam appeals to Governments across the continent to “create more conducive environment for the airline industry in the continent so that African carriers are enabled to play their rightful role in ensuring the flow of investments, trade and tourism to the continent.”
Meanwhile, Ethiopian has ordered four Boeing 777 Freighters, the world’s largest and longest-range twin-engine cargo jet, in a deal valued at more than US$1.3 Billion.
“This airplane order will provide Ethiopian’s Cargo and Logistics business with enhanced cargo capacity and better operating economics as we continue to build one of the largest cargo terminals in the world,” says Group CEO GebreMariam, while signing for the new airplanes at the 2017 Dubai Airshow. “Operating high-performance airplanes such as the 777 Freighter is a reflection of our commitment to expand and support the growing imports and exports of our country and the African continent.”
With nearly 100 airplanes in operation, Ethiopian flies one of the largest and youngest fleets in Africa, including Boeing 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, and 787s.
“We are honoured that Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s leading carriers, has again selected Boeing airplanes to grow its operations, adding to an order book that includes the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister. “The 777 Freighter has no competitor in its class when it comes to low operating costs, long range, and capacity to carry cargo.”
The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger jet and can fly 9070 kilometres with a full payload of 102 metric tonnes.