Ethiopian Airlines CEO Credits Dreamliner Planes For Profits

Tewolde Gebremariam

VENTURES AFRICA – Ethiopian Airlines has posted a record profit of birr2.03 billion ($107 million) for the concluded 2012 and 2013 fiscal year, showing a 178 percent increase from the birr734 million (38 million) profit reported last financial year.

Citing unaudited company accounts, the company’s CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam said the company’s operating profit between the period was birr 2.7 billion ($143 million) up from a birr 1 billion ($53 million) the previous financial year.

Tewolde said the performance was as a result of “the Boeing 787 planes which are super-efficient and helped us save on fuel costs and also our employees are exceptionally dedicated”.

In January, Dreamliner’s around the world were grounded because of overheating lithium batteries. Ethiopian Airlines was the first to get the plane back in the air, on April 27.

The CEO insisted the fleets were “the future of the aviation” and his company is sticking with plans to buy five more of the planes and lease three others.

“Whenever we introduce the aircraft in any route, the load factor immediately increases, which means our customers love the plane, they are enjoying its features,” Tewolde said.

The airline further revealed that it plans to launch flights to Singapore and other destinations in by 2014, and expects delivery of nine brand new aircrafts, including three Dreamliners.

Ethiopian Airlines operates an all-Boeing fleet with some 1,330 weekly flights. The airline flies to 76 international and 17 domestic destinations.