Friday, July 19, 2024

Passengers flying Ethiopian Airlines every year to hit 18 million by June

Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it is expecting its passenger numbers to increase by 30 per cent in the full year ending June 2024.

In the previous year ended June 2023, passengers flying Ethiopian Airlines annually stood at 13.9 million passengers. This places its current expectations at above 18 million passengers. This has been revealed by the airline’s chief executive officer Mesfin Tasew Bekele.

In an interview with Reuters, Bekele said that the performance of the airline in the first nine months of the current financial year indicate that it will achieve this milestone. At the same time, it will also see a 20 per cent increase in revenue to USD7.3 billion.

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“We are expanding our network and we are increasing frequencies on our existing network,” he said.

To match its growth, the airline that currently occupies the top position in Africa’s aviation industry is also seeking to grow the number of its aircraft.

Currently, Ethiopian Airlines operates a fleet of 146 Boeing, Airbus and De Havilland planes.

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According to Bekele, this number is slightly below their desired minimum of 150 aircraft and has been due to delays in the delivery of new aircraft by the manufacturers.

He revealed that Ethiopian has orders for 70 Boeing and Airbus planes and options to acquire 54 additional planes. These acquisitions are part of the airlines strategy that shall see it double its fleet and route network by the year 2035, and passenger numbers by 440 per cent and annual revenue by 400 per cent by the same 2035 year.

In December 2013, the airline secured a USD $450 million loan from Citi Group that will finance five new Boeing aircraft. These will include three Boeing 737-8 and two Boeing 777F Cargo planes.

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“The loan will be secured against the value of the five planes and has been arranged exclusively by Citi’s Corporate Banking and Export Agency and Finance teams. It is guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM),” Ethiopian had said in a statement.

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The airline has established itself as the leading airline in the continent. It is currently flying to 135 international passenger and cargo destinations, including 63 African cities. On top of the belly hold capacity, Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services covers 67 dedicated Freighter services deploying 17 freighter aircraft.

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