Ethiopian Airlines: Wikis


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Ethiopian Airlines
Founded 1945
Hubs Bole International Airport
Frequent flyer program Sheba Miles
Fleet size 38 (+45 orders)
Destinations 73 [1]
Company slogan Africa's World Class Airline
Headquarters Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Key people Seyoum Mesfin (Chairman), Girma Wake (CEO)

Ethopian Airlines (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ; የኢትዮጵያ? in short) is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[2] It is the national airline of Ethiopia, operating scheduled international passenger and freight services to over 50 destinations worldwide, as well as domestic services to 32 destinations and passenger and cargo charter flights. Its main site is the Bole International Airport.[3]

Ethiopian Airlines is the largest airline in Africa by number of passengers. Ethiopian Airlines serves over 50 destinations worldwide and over 35 destinations within Ethiopia.[4]



An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 757-200 lands at London Heathrow Airport, England. (1998)
An Ethiopian Airlines Fokker 50 in old livery.

Ethiopian Airlines was founded on December 29, 1945, by Emperor Haile Selassie with assistance from TWA. It commenced operations on April 8, 1946, with a weekly service between Addis Ababa and Cairo with five Douglas DC-3 propeller-driven aircraft.[5]

The airline started long-haul services to Frankfurt in 1958 and inaugurated its first jet service in January 1963 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. In 1965, it changed from a corporation to a share company and changed its name from Ethiopian Air Lines to Ethiopian Airlines. In the early 1960s it provided some initial aviation support to the Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission in its operation to provide topographic maps of Ethiopia.[6] It is wholly owned by the government of Ethiopia and has 4,700 employees (at March 2007)[3].

Although it relied on American pilots and technicians at the beginning, by its 25th anniversary in 1971 Ethiopian Airlines was managed and staffed by Ethiopian personnel. In 1998, it started transatlantic services. The airline was featured by The Economist as an example of excellence in late 1987, [7] and Ethiopianist Paul B. Henze recognized it in 2000 as being "one of the most reliable and profitable airlines in the Third World",[8] In 2007, Ethiopia Airlines provided basic pilot and aviation maintenance training to trainees from African countries including Rwanda, Tanzania, Chad, Djibouti, Madagascar and Sudan. Other training was given to employees of Kenya Airways, Air Zimbabwe, Bellview Airlines, Cape Verde Airlines and Air Madagascar.[9]

The airline provided service to the Eritrean capital of Asmara until a war erupted between the two countries in 1998. The airline calls its frequent flyer program "Sheba Miles" in reference to the legendary Queen of Sheba.

Financial performance

Ethiopian Airlines started "Vision 2020" in 2005 which aimed to increase passenger traffic to 3 million, revenue to 1 billion US dollars and the staff to 6,000. In its fiscal year 2007/2008, the airline transported 2.5 million passengers and generated 9.2 billion birr revenue (USD 900 million) with a net profit of 507 million birr (USD 56 million). [10]

For the fiscal year 2008/2009, ET transported 2.8 million passengers (a 12.3% increase y/y) generated 12.2 billion birr in revenue (USD 980 million - a 32.8% increase y/y) with a net profit of 1.345 billion birr (108 million USD - a 165% increase over the previous year). In the same period, Ethiopian hauled 101 thousand tons of cargo, a 38.4% increase over the previous year. [11] These results are the best yet for the 64 year old airline, and were attributed to an aggressive marketing campaign and major cost cutting measures. [12]



An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 757-200 landing at London Heathrow Airport, England. (2009)
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER landing at London Heathrow Airport, England. (2006)
An Ethiopian Airlines Fokker 50 at Lalibela Airport, Ethiopia. (2006)

The Ethiopian Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (at 25 January 2010):[13][14][15]



Ethiopian Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Options Passengers
(Cloud Nine/Economy)
Airbus A350-900 0 12 0
Boeing 737-700 7 0 0 118 (16/102) Two of type operating for Asky Air
Boeing 737-800 2 10 0 154 (16/138)
Boeing 757-200 7 0 0 160 (16/144) Various seat configurations, most common stated
Boeing 767-300ER 10 0 0 245 (24/221) Various seat configurations, most common stated
Boeing 777-200LR 0 5 0 258(20/238)
Boeing 787-8 0 10 2 Entry into service: Mid 2011
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 0 8 4 78 (0/78) Entry into service: March 2010
Fokker 50 5 0 0 50 (0/50) Replacement aircraft: Bombardier Dash 8
Total 32 45 6

Not counting the De Havilland planes, the fleet average age was 10.7 years at January 2008[16].

In February 2005 Ethiopian Airlines signed a preliminary agreement to buy up to 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft (5 firm orders and 5 options). On 31 May 2005 Boeing announced that Ethiopian had exercised its purchase rights and confirmed a firm order for 10 aircraft. The new planes are expected to be delivered in 2011. Ethiopian Cargo operates two Lockheed L-100 freighters. ET Cargo also leases additional aircraft based on traffic requirements. Three of the existing four passenger 757-200s are expected to be converted to freighter configuration.[citation needed]


Ethiopian Airlines Freighter Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 747-281BCF 2 0 Operated by Southern Air
Boeing 757-260PCF 2 0
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F 2 0
Total 6 0

Codeshare and Alliances

Ethiopian Airlines is not part of one the three global airline alliances, but is preparing for membership in the Star Alliance[17]. It has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[18]

Ethiopian Airlines and Lufthansa have closely linked their frequent flyer programms Shebamiles and Miles & More [25] allowing members to earn and spend miles on the airlines' entire network.

In July 2008 Ethiopian Airlines entered a strategic partnership with Lomé based start-up airline ASKY Airlines in which Ethiopian holds a 25% stake [26][27]. Ethiopian Airlines is responsible for aircraft maintenance and operational management. The plan is to turn Lomé into Ethiopian Airline's regional hub for the West African market[17].

Incidents and accidents

The BBC stated that, contrast to many other African carriers, Ethiopian Airlines has a good safety record.[28] Since 1970, there have been only three fatal events involving Ethiopian Airlines aircraft (with two of these events caused by factors outside the control of Ethiopian Airlines).

On 15 September 1988, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604, a Boeing 737-200 registered ET-AJA, ingested pigeons into both engines shortly after take off from Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. One engine lost thrust almost immediately and the second lost thrust during the emergency return to the airport. During the crash landing, 31 of the 105 passengers were killed [1].

On 23 November 1996, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, a Boeing 767-200ER registered ET-AIZ, was hijacked by three hijackers. The flight was on its first leg of an Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Brazzaville-Lagos-Abidjan route. The hijackers instructed the pilot to fly to Australia. As the aircraft flew south along the African coast, Air Traffic Controller at Nairobi advised the crew to land at Mombasa. Fuel ran out and one of the plane's engines stopped. While attempting a landing into shallow waters 500 meters from shore near Le Galawa Beach (near Moroni in the Comoros Islands), the aircraft ran out of fuel and ditched. 123 of the 175 passengers and crew died, including Kenyan photojournalist Mohamed Amin and all of the hijackers. The aircraft was destroyed.

On 25 January 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, a Boeing 737-800 registered ET-ANB, crashed shortly after take off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport en route to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The aircraft was carrying 82 passengers and 8 crew members, and all 90 people were reported dead. [29][30] The airline reported 82 passengers and 8 crew members, and the local government reported 83 passengers, and 7 crew members. [31]. A permanent memorial web site has been designed to receive condolence messages to the victims and their families [2]. Surface recovery efforts are being conducted by Lebanese and US naval forces. The Lebanese government has contracted Odyssey Marine, a treasure hunting company, to recover the black boxes, which were reported found on 7 February 2010 [32].


The United States Federal Aviation Administration accredited the maintenance division with license No. ETIY 102F. [33][34]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Company Profile." Ethiopian Airlines. Retrieved on 3 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b Flight International 3 April 2007
  4. ^
  5. ^ Camerapix, Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia (Brooklyn: Interlink, 2000), p. 296
  6. ^ Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission web site
  7. ^ "In Search of Excellence, the Hard Way", The Economist, 31 December 1987.
  8. ^ Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia, (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 246.
  9. ^ "Annual Report 2006/2007" (accessed 3 February 2009)
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Ethiopian Airlines Fleet
  14. ^ Ethiopian Airlines Fleet at Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  15. ^ Ethiopian Airlines fleet list at Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  16. ^ Ethiopian Airlines Fleet Age
  17. ^ a b c d e "National Airline Soars Despite Global Turbulence - 08 June, 2009
  18. ^ "Ethiopian - Company Profile
  19. ^ "Ethiopian and Brussels Set to Launch Codeshare Agreement - 12 June 2008
  20. ^ "Ethiopian and Gulf Air Enter Code Share Agreement - 18 July 2007
  21. ^ "Ethiopian Strengthens Codeshare with Lufthansa - 1 December 2008
  23. ^ "Ethiopian Enters Codeshare with Saudi Arabian Airlines - 5 December 2008
  24. ^ "Ethiopian, Turkish Airlines negotiate code sharing
  25. ^ "Shebamiles and Miles and More Partnership
  26. ^ "Ethiopian and ASKY Airlines Sign MoU on Strategic Partnership and Investment - 01 July, 2008
  27. ^ "Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY Sign a Management Contract - 16 January, 2009
  28. ^ "Ethiopian Airlines jet crashes into sea off Beirut". BBC News. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Approval & Accreditation," Ethiopian Airlines
  34. ^ "Ethiopian Airlines Pioneer of African Aviation Industry," Ethiopian Government

External links

Simple English

Ethiopian Airlines is an airline based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is the national airline of Ethiopia, operating scheduled international passenger and freight services to 80 destinations world-wide, as well as domestic services to 28 destinations and passenger and cargo charter flights. Its main hub is Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.[1]


  1. Flight International 3 April 2007


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