Ethiopian Airlines: Best Airline in Africa

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Ethiopian Airlines is inarguably Africa’s largest airline and also one of the few airlines turning a profit on the continent.

The airline is by far Africa’s leading airline and is twice the size of the number two and three largest African Airlines. It has grown faster than the rest of Africa’s top 10 airlines put together.

The airline’s growth became extreme, rapid, and more obvious between 2011 and 2019 when it joined an International airline network known as Star Alliance which gave it access to more routes with partner airlines.

Within these years, the full-service carrier more than doubled in size and added nearly 15 million seats, which is over 5 million more than the top 10 African airlines put together.

Ethiopian Airlines came top as the best in Africa when put alongside South African Airways and Kenya Airways.

Being the best in Africa, the Airline is ranked 37th in the world’s top 100 airlines for 2021, as voted by airline customers around the world.

Ethiopia Airlines has been receiving accolades for its outstanding financial performance, technological leadership, and investment in a modern fuel-efficient fleet.

Also, its exemplary cooperation with other African carriers, significantly expanding route network in Africa and beyond, growing cargo operations with the largest cargo fleet on the continent and huge investment in MRO and training facilities to support African Aviation can not be overlooked

This Airline was founded in 1945 by Ethiopia’s last Emperor, Haile Selassie as an instrument of modernizing and shaking off the county’s poverty-stricken image.

Since then, the Ethiopia airline has continued to expand and its fleet of 111 planes is larger than any other Airline on the African Continent.

With its current fleet of aircraft, it connects passengers from North America and Europe to Africa and vice versa.

In its seventy-five years of operation, Ethiopian Airlines has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.

It commands the lion’s share of the Pan African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 130 international passengers and cargo destinations across five continents.

It became the first African Airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the 757 Freighter and has invested so much in expanding and modernizing its fleet. This resulted in the Airline having the youngest fleet in Africa.

The average age of the Ethiopian aircraft is 5.4 years compared to 13.5 for British Airways, 15 years for United Airlines, and 10.7 for Ericson Airlines.

Though the carrier has been involved in some major deadly air crashes, Ethiopia Airlines is seen as the safest in Africa.

Beyond its operation, the Airline has been helping other African National carriers.
For instance, it revived and owns a 49 per cent stake in Malawi Airlines and also a 45 per cent stake in Zambian airlines too.

It also helped to relaunch a new Airline in Mozambique just as It is currently planning to invest in Nigeria’s National carrier, Nigeria Air, with a 49 per cent stake.

This strategy of helping other African countries to revive their national airlines, launching more connections, and setting up more hubs across Africa has helped Ethiopian Airlines to become a leader in the Aviation industry.

According to findings by a Spanish Travel Consultancy, in 2019, Ethiopia overtook Dubai as the biggest transfer hub for long-haul travel to Africa.

Currently, Europe airlines are trying to implement a 15-year strategy called vision 2025. This strategic plan will help the airline to become a leading aviation group in Africa with seven business units such as Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian ADD Hub Ground Services, Ethiopian Airports Services, and Ethiopian Express Services (Domestic) Awards.

Considering its strides in the African aviation sector, the airline has become a multi-award-winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the seven years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the awards include; the Airline of the Year Award, for more than 7 years in a row, by the African Airlines Association, AFRAA.

It won the ‘Best African Airline at the 2021 Business Traveller Awards.

Whilst busy bringing Africa together through improved air services, Ethiopian Airlines has also focused on being Africa’s link to the world by expanding its international route network.

The commitment to excellence of Ethiopian Airlines is manifested by the significant investment it has made over the years in new aircraft, impressive aviation maintenance, and training facilities as well as human resources development.

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