Africa’s largest and most profitable airline transported 21% more passengers this year than last year. And that’s just one measure of the carrier’s rapid growth.
The 2017-18 fiscal year just ended for Ethiopian Airlines and the numbers are impressive. Highlights include:
- 21% growth in passenger traffic
- 10.6MN passengers transported
- 18% growth in freight traffic
- 43% growth in operating revenue (3.2BN USD)
- Net profit of $245MN USD
- Fleet surpassed 100 aircraft
The carrier took delivery of 14 new aircraft over the last year, averaging more than one per month. New routes included:
- Manama (Bahrain)
- Buenos Aires (Argentina)
- Chicago (USA)
- Geneva (Switzerland)
- Kaduna (Nigeria)
- Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Mbuji-Mayi (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Nosy-Be (Madagascar)
All this growth came with fuel prices rising 30%. In the coming fiscal year, the carrier will continue to grow its fleet and introduce a larger and more luxurious airport terminal in Addis Ababa (ADD), the carrier’s home. Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told ATW this would include “greatly enhanced” ground customer service.
And that could not come sooner. I transited through Addis last year and noted the airport was in great need of an update.
> Read More: Addis Ababa (ADD) Transit Guide
Furthermore, the carrier may soon manage (effectively taking over) Nigeria’s planned new state carrier. This is in addition to airline investment in Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, and Mozambique.
Ethiopian’s growth is all the more impressive considering rising oil prices. The carrier offers a consistent and excellent onboard product (though the lack of wi-fi kills me). You can read a trio of my business class reviews here.
image: Anna Zvereva / Wikimedia Commons