With its first flight to Cairo, Egypt recorded on April 8, 1946 to Cairo, Ethiopian Airlines has kicked off a year – long celebration of its 75th anniversary with the theme: “Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence”; this is even as the airline has given indications of its readiness to resume flight operations to Kano and Enugu international airports in Nigeria Since its first flight, the airline has grown over the years to become not just Africa’s leading airline but one of the world’s leading airlines.
Earning the status of Africa’s largest, most profitable and award-winning aviation group, with its operations spread across the different continents of the world and spectrum of aviation industry. Reflecting on this milestone, airlines Group Chief Executive Office, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “As we celebrate 75 years of excellence, we take stock of our accomplishments over three quarters of a century.
‘‘Among the many firsts introduced by Ethiopian are the first Jet aircraft in Africa, the first East Africa to West Africa scheduled flight, the first airline from the Western Hemisphere to fly to China, the first scheduled service between the capitals of the most populous nations in the world (from New Delhi to Beijing), the first airline in Africa to introduce the B767, B777-200LR, B787 (the Dreamliner) and later on the A350 to Africa. ‘‘Today, our industry faces a serious challenge posed by COVID-19.
The route we chose to overcome this challenge is to tighten our belt, change the way we do business and be agile. We remain the only commercial airline that hasn’t sought government bailout and didn’t lay off a single employee. ‘‘I would like to take this opportunity to cement our commitment to sustainable aviation and continue to work with all stakeholders to enhance Africa’s air connectivity. While congratulating all Ethiopian families, I would like to thank our esteemed customers for their strong vote of confidence, their loyalty and support.’’
Ethiopian attributes its success to the four pillars of its growth strategy. These pillars are human resource development, modern fleet, infrastructure development and technology. It will continue to focus on these pillars with renewed emphasis on sustainability. It will also continue partnering with other African airlines and governments to create a robust, competitive airline industry in Africa by sharing its technical and management expertise. As its celebrates, the airline has assured of its continued commitment to deepen its operation in Nigeria this is as it concludes plan to resume flight operations to Enugu and Kano international airports once the new terminals are officially declared open for operations. It earlier in the month operated a special flight to Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport as part of the gradual process of reopening the airport.
It General Manager, Nigeria, Shimeles Arage, said the airline is the only international airline that operates to Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu since it was gazetted as an international airport. It is also one of the airlines that operate into Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano. Ethiopian has been operating into Nigeria since 1960 and has stayed with Nigeria ever since then. Ethiopian is the first airline to bring the B787 Dreamliner to all the four international airports in Nigeria. It was also the first to bring the Airbus A350 to Nigeria.