As one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines undertook its maiden flight in 1946 toCairo. Today the airline commands a lion’s share of the pan-African network, including the only daily east-west flight across the continent. Ethiopian serves 70 international destinations with 187 weekly international departures fromAddis Ababa, and a total of 4 968 weekly frequencies in 618 different markets worldwide.
Furthermore, it is working towards making theEthiopianAviationAcademythe leading aviation academy inAfrica. One of its proudest claims is that it will be the first carrier to operate the 787 Dreamliner in Africa, the Middle East andEurope. Over the years Ethiopian Airlines has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Best Airline inAfrica, and a corporate achievement award. The airline’s performance during the 2007/2008 fiscal was a milestone in its operating history as it recorded a net profit of 507 million Bir for the first time in its history. During this time, Ethiopian Airlines transported 2,5 million passengers and saw an increase in traffic of 20% compared with the previous year. This success is attributed to the growth in traffic following the increase of flight frequencies and the introduction of new destinations in the international sector.
While the airline ground staff and cabin crew, both in Addis Ababa and Johannesburg, were both competent and focused on delivering a good service, the aircraft, a Boeing 737-300, was smaller than I had anticipated, and so it felt as though I was flying to Durban or Cape Town. However, the combined service of first and business classes, Cloud Nine, had both space and a satisfactory level of comfort.
The entire process, from checking in and boarding to the flight itself and the in-flight service offering, was a smooth and pleasant process.
Ethiopian Airlines offers a good, all-round service, and while proud of its past achievements, has strategic plans for the future to continue to improve and expand on its service offering. This airline operates one of the newest and youngest fleets of aircraft in the world, and the announcement that, as of April 2009, the carrier will be operating a Boeing 757 on the Johannesburg-Addis Ababa route makes Ethiopian Airlines one of the preferred carriers inAfrica.