Ethiopia’s flag carrier has become one of the first major airline companies to register a profit as cargo revenues helped weather a steep drop in passenger numbers prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The carriers chief executive said on Tuesday that the airline is profitable and cash positive underpinned by demand for air cargo.
This comes as airlines are resulting to cargo business and technology, now that freight revenue has become crucial to their business.
Tewolde GebreMariam noted how cargo is now a recognised key revenue stream, the airline has invested since the onset of the pandemic.
“For us, Ethiopian Airlines, the cargo business is strong and I would say is a breadwinner in the group,” CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told a Dubai conference by video link.
According to IATA numbers, Last year’s Cargo contribution to revenue soared, from 10% to 15% of turnover pre-crisis, to 30% to 35%.
“Cargo is now one-third of the airline business,” said IATA chief economist Brian Pearce. “It used to be significant, but not the most important part of the business.”