Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest Airline Group, announces registering record success in the just ended 2017/18 fiscal year amid fuel price hike.
The jet fuel price, which accounts for 40% of the total operating cost of Ethiopian Airlines, has almost doubled reaching around $78 per barrel. Meanwhile the airline has still managed to registered historical success in financial, commercial, operational and customer service areas, according to the CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam who presented annual report to the media on Friday.
During the fiscal year, the airline was given for the first time in its history a 4 Star rating by SKYTRAX, the leading customer service rating organization in the airline industry, putting it on par with other global airlines. SKYRAX also recognized Ethiopian as Best Airline in Africa; Best Business Class in Africa and Best Economy Class in Africa.
Ethiopian reached and passed the 100th aircraft in service milestone during the year, becoming the first African airline in history to do so.
“It was an exceptional year for Ethiopian with record performance in financial, operational, commercial and customer service areas. This historical performance is, due first and foremost, to the commitment, hard work and competence of my 16,000 colleagues with each one of them at all echelons of the company playing a critical role in this success,” said Mr. Tewolde.
- Key achievements of Ethiopian Airlines in 2017/18 include:
– Ethiopian introduced additional +14 new aircraft, more than one aircraft per month;
– The airline opened 8 new international destinations, namely Geneva (Switzerland), Chicago (USA), Bahrain, Kaduna (Nigeria), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Kisangani
and Mbuji-Mayi (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Nosy-Be (Madagascar);
– The number of passengers carried grew by +21% topping the 10 million mark for the first time in the airline’s history and reaching 10.6 million passengers;
– Freight carried grew by +18% from previous fiscal year to attain 400,339 tons;
– Operating revenue grew by +43% from previous fiscal year to culminate at 89.1 billion Ethiopian birr (ETB);
– Net profit stood at 6.8 billion ETB (around $233 million).
“…This performance is all the more exceptional given the very tough operating and competitive environment in Africa, where jet fuel price, our main cost driver, has soared during the year and is on average 30% more expensive in Africa, our home market, than in the rest of the world, putting the continent’s carriers at a severe competitive disadvantage. This remarkable result was also achieved in the backdrop of aggressive foreign carriers’ penetration into the African market with the African airline industry collectively forecasted to loss money,” Mr. Tewolde said.
“The historical performance attests the soundness of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025. During the next 2018/19 fiscal year, we aim to further grow our network, introduce record number of modern fleet and greatly enhance the on-ground customer service at our main hub with the opening at the end of 2018 of the newly expanded and significantly upgraded airport terminals in Addis Ababa,” he said.