Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s largest airline group and the benchmark for success across the continent having undergone a meteoric rise over the past decade.
The airline group has been so positively consistent that it registered a profit during the worst crisis in the history of the air transport industry
Part of what makes Ethiopian airlines successful even in such difficult times is its sheer size that allows it to leverage on economies of scale and also gives it the strength to be more resilient
The Ethiopian airlines model is not just about hub dominance in Addis Ababa, the group has racked up a series of strategic partnerships across an African continent that is largely protectionist and restrictive to foreign ownership.
Ethiopian airlines has stakes in Chadian Airlines (49%), Zambia Airways (45%), Malawi Airlines (49%), Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines (99%) and ASKY Airlines(40%) cementing its influence on the African aviation landscape, but it is not stopping there:
Eairlier this month, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s minister of transport and Communication, Chérubin Okende revealed he had paid a visit to Addis Ababa in order to add impetus to a new airline project in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines. He revealed the name of the new airline project to be Air Congo
This week, aviation journalist Kurt Hoffman had a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gabremariam in which details were discussed about the new project as published by Sam Chui. Air Congo will have a fleet of 10 aircraft
“We just signed (an agreement) with the government of DRC, which owns 51% of the airline and 49% is with us. The fleet will comprise De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s, Boeing 737s and two 787s.” Said CEO, GareMariam
He also explained the airline’s group’s growing role in the region
“The driver for such a group of airlines is not the return on investment. It is to support our hub Addis Ababa (ADD),” he said.
“We want to expand inter-African routes further, because the connectivity is still not well. Ethiopian Airline is like the Lufthansa Group of Africa. Lufthansa has airlines like SWISS, Austrian etc.”
In 2011, Ethiopian Airlines began implementing a 15-year strategic plan dubbed vision 2025. Under this roadmap, It successfully transformed itself into the largest airline group in Africa with seven key profit centres: Ethiopian International, Ethiopian Express (regional), Ethiopian Cargo, Ethiopian MRO, Ethiopian Catering, Ethiopian Aviation Academy and Ethiopian Ground Handling.
After the success of vision 2025, a unique feat given we are still years away from the scheduled target of 2025, the group is already embarking on a new strategic roadmap dubbed vision 2035 with the aim of sustaining and scaling up the airline group’s immense growth
The group plans to become a USD 25 Billion company by 2035. It grew from a 1.3 Billion company in 2010 to a 4.1 Billion company in 10 years under vision 2025