In a very dynamic and turbulent global airline industry Ethiopian Airlines has managed to grow fast in the past ten years. Volatile oil price, terrorism, conflict and epidemic outbreak are the biggest challenges facing airlines. Stiff competition coming from mega airlines in Europe and the Middle East is a daunting challenge for African airlines. Many African carriers have gone bust and still many others are struggling for their survival. Despite the hostile global environment Ethiopian managed to keep growing and making profit in the past successive years. It has transformed itself into the largest aviation group in Africa and recently the group incorporated the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise and Hotel and Tour Company. Kaleyesus Bekele of The Reporter sat with the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, Tewolde Gebremariam, and discussed the current performance of the airline. Excerpts:
The Reporter: How was the performance of Ethiopian in the 2016-2017 fiscal year?
It was a very good year for us although it was a very challenging year for the industry particularly for the African Airline industry. As you know 2016-2017 is the seventh year in our Vision 2025. Out of our 15-year strategic roadmap we have completed seven years so we are half way through. When we see the strategic roadmap, one can say with confidence that it has been a successful endeavor and in the past seven years we have exceeded all the parameters, the targets and the goals we have put in the plan in every successive year.
Likewise, 2016-2017 was a very successful year. But at the same time we have been tested and tried but fortunately we proved our resilience. In the fiscal year the price of crude oil continued to decline starting from late 2014, 2015, 2016 and part of 2017. That on one side helped us to reduce our cost.
Read more at: The Reporter