2016 saw many milestones for Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines announced that it has ended yet another year of fast and profitable growth in 2016, highlighted by fleet and network expansion as well as significant investment in customer services in the air and on the ground.
In a statement received by nazret.com, CEO of 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.”
Ethiopian’s major milestones for the year include expanding and diversification of its core fleet. Ethiopian airlines received 8 new aircraft in 2016 alone and currently has 82 airplanes in service. It also introduced Airbus aircraft for the first time in its 70 year history, with Africa’s first A350.
The airline has continued to expand its network connecting Africa to the world. Living its motto of Bringing Africa Together and Closer to the World, Ethiopian has continued to connect the African continent with its major trading cities and markets. With connections as short as 30 minutes at Addis Ababa hub airport, it offers the fastest travel time between Africa and the rest of the world. Both through its main hub in Addis and regional hubs in Lomé (Togo) and Lilongwe (Malawi). In 2016 Ethiopian launched new international flights to the Comoros Islands, Windhoek, and Newark and domestic routes to Hawassa, Kebridahar and Dembidolo.
The airline also built the largest and state of the art 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.
Cargo: The New Cargo Terminal, 82% complete, is expected to be operational towards April 2017, which will have an annual storage (for both dry and perishable goods) of 1.2 million tons and a capacity to handle eight B747-800 freighters at a time. Construction of the first phase only will cost approximately US$ 150 million. Upon completion, our uplifting capability will be equivalent to the cargo terminals at Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi or Hong Kong.
A Four Star Hotel construction: with the booming construction in our capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopian’s four star hotel construction is progressing, with 30 percent completion. The hotel will have 330 rooms, a banquet hall to accommodate 2000 guests, restaurants, a swimming pool, gym, and spa.
Catering: Ethiopian has inaugurated the largest Catering Facility in Africa, with a capacity more than all hotels in the city combined: 100,000 meals per day. It will soon commence third-party service and generate revenue to continue as an independent profit center.
Maintenance Hangar: The newly built wide body maintenance hangar is now 97% completed. The hangar has two bays equipped with latest technologies; a full Paint hangar, and Maintenance hangar. The facility is capable of accommodating 2-B747-800 (the biggest Boeing airplane) at a time or more other type of aircraft in different arrangements.
Simulator: Ethiopian has constructed a state-of–art flight simulator building and installed five of the latest full flight simulators (FFS). This includes; the Boeing 787, 777, 757, 767, 737NG and the Bombardier Q400. Likewise, we are on our way to have full flight simulators for A350XWB and Boeing B737 MAX aircraft.