Freight traffic at Ethiopian Airlines grew 18 per cent in the 2017/18 fiscal year as the airline expanded its fleet and network.
The airline handled 400,339 tons during the year, with operating revenue growing 43 per cent to 89.1 billion Ethiopian birr (ETB) and net profit standing at 6.8 billion ETB ($241.6 million).
The fleet grew by 14 aircraft and the network increased with flights to Geneva, Switzerland; Chicago, USA; Bahrain; Kaduna, Nigeria; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Kisangani and Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Nosy-Be in Madagascar.
Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive officer, Tewolde GebreMariam says it was an “exceptional year” for the airline, especially considering the tough operating environment and foreign carriers penetrating the African market.
He says: “This performance is all the more exceptional given the very tough operating and competitive environment in Africa, where jet fuel price, our main cost driver, has soared during the year and is on average 30 per cent more expensive in Africa, our home market, than in the rest of the world, putting the continent’s carriers at a severe competitive disadvantage.”
GebreMariam also says the performance shows that its Vision 2025 plan is successful, saying: “During the next 2018/19 fiscal year, we aim to further grow our network, introduce record number of modern fleet and greatly enhance the on-ground customer service at our main hub with the opening at the end of 2018 of the newly expanded and significantly upgraded airport terminals in Addis Ababa.”