Obviously, Ethiopian Airlines will continue to be the ambassador of Africa whenever airlines operators from other parts of the world gather to rub minds profitably.
Ethiopian as the airline is generally known, for consecutive years has remained the saving grace for Africa in view of the abysmal outings of other airlines from the continent many of which had collapsed unceremoniously while the few that are still are doing so unimpressively.
Today, the thinking amongst the developed world about aviation particularly airline business in Africa is that of despair, hopelessness and failure but thank God for Ethiopian Airlines.
This unpleasant notion about the continent, unfortunately, is almost becoming a stigma looking at the number of dead airlines from the continent and the embarrassing manner the existing few ones operate. Without any bias, many of the African airlines including those gone and few still in existence have created the impression that airline business is almost an impossible enterprise whereas, Ethiopian has, however, shown that to run an airline business is not supposed to be a rocket science thing in the first place.
While the big mega carriers around the world such as British Airways, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, the United Arab Emirates of this world have continued to operate enviably and profitably in the same business, the reverse has been the case with the African airlines. This anomaly is responsible for the heavy presence of foreign carriers on the continent.
Amongst such collapsed African airlines which once made their countries and the continent proud before their extinction are: Nigeria Airways, Ghana Airways, Air Afrique, Cameroon Airlines, Air Djibouti, Air Guinea, Air Gabon, Air Liberia whose collapse have been traced to lack of good planning, corruption, mismanagement,the inability to put the right persons at the right position, lack of patriotism and uncooperative attitude of governments.
While these contributory reasons still continue till today, Ethiopian Airlines has been able to stand out on the continent as witnessed in the way it is succeeding and making a profit thus making it a force to reckon with the foreign carriers.
Apart from giving the mega carriers a good fight for their runs in view of huge destinations the African carrier operates into spreading through The Americas, Asia, Europe and Middle East side by side the foreign airlines, the airline which has earned itself ‘The New Spirit of Africa’ slogan has virtually become more or less the ‘African flag carrier’ as it is the only one that is making use of the liberalization of the air transport market policy to even link many African countries together.
Ethiopian airline which is presently living according to its Moto: ‘Bringing Africa Together and Beyond’, has created a missing link through its vast African network to 55 cities and more than 100 international passenger and cargo destinations. Therefore, to say the African carrier absolutely understood the business of running an airline is no more hidden with the 15-year seven strategic business plan units it called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading airline group in Africa.
Apart from the good business plans put together by the brilliance of its management and workers all made up of Ethiopian citizens, the number of sophisticated aircraft in the fleet of the airline many of which surpassed those in the fleet of the so-called mega carriers coupled with the ability of the airline’s management to put the right aircraft on the right route, is a major plus to the success of the airline.
Presently, the airline which has 90 aircraft of different brands on its fleet apart from more 61 already on order ranging from Airbus-A350-900, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-200LRF (cargo) to Boeing 737 Max, flies into many African countries including: Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Seychelles, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Mali, Tanzania, Djibouti, Senegal, Zambia to mention but a view.
A visit to the Bole Addis Ababa International Airport is enough to convince any doubting Thomas that the airline meant business with every minute take off and landing of its aircraft proudly flying the flag of Ethiopia, an African country to various destinations in a well-planned routes distribution.
The icing on the cake is the ability of the airline’s management to put together what it called seven business centres ranging from the Ethiopian in-flight catering, Cargo, Aircraft maintenance, Aviation academy to Ground service.
All these marketing strategies put together by this African airline have been responsible for its profitability and ability to stand shoulder to shoulder with the mega carriers in the airline business.
With its ever forward-looking management and the goodwill it enjoys from its home government which understood the contribution of airline business to its economy and development and thus create an enabling environment, Ethiopian Airlines is presently the hope of Africa.
Putting every sentiment apart, Ethiopian Airlines is the only airline from the continent standing tall on its solid two legs. But the question is; whither other African Airlines and their governments?