Monday, September 2, 2013

■ ETHIOPIA: More 787s for Ethiopian as Tewolde announces profits for FY2012/13 hit $140mln.

Ethiopian Airlines logo
Despite the airliner's initial teething problems initial teeth problems and the grounding of one of its five B787-8s, (MSN 34744 | ET-AOP), at London Heathrow following a fire on-board, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) plans to add eight more of the aircraft to its fleet as part of its long term growth strategy dubbed Vision 2025.

During a press conference given in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last week, airline CEO Tewolde Gebremariam stated that on top of its planned fleet of thirteen Dreamliners, of which the remaining eight are due by 2015, eight more will be added.
"We like the airplane, it is our future, we are going to order more and we are going to enjoy the benefits of this airplane," Tewolde Gebremariam told reporters. "If Boeing can produce them then we will add more," Tewolde said.
However, Mr Gebremariam did note that the troubles that have dogged the aircraft have dented Ethiopian's profits for its latest financial year with discussions with Boeing over compensation said to be ongoing. [On ET-AOP's future, Mesfin Tasew, the Chief Operating Officer at Ethiopian, has said repairs are to begin this month with the aircraft expected back in service at some point in November.]

Ethiopian A350 (Airbus)
He confirmed that the first of fourteen Airbus A350-900s would now be delivered in 2016.

On the airline's finances, Mr Tewolde announced that operating revenue at Ethiopian Airlines climbed to ETB38.5billion (USD2.04billion) in 2012/2013 from ETB33.8billion (USD1.79billion) a year earlier. As such, despite high fuel prices and the grounding of its 787 fleet, operating profit rocketed up to ETB2.7billion (USD142.84million) from USD40.8million last year.

Tewolde said that the airline's West African subsidiary, ASKY Airlines (KP) is doing "very well" with the carrier expected to break even and make a profit this year.

The CEO paid tribute to the company's success noting the dedication and commitment of its employees, leadership and board, it flexible capacity and demand management and its prudent cost management.

In total, the airline flew 5.5 million passengers on 190 daily flights and 1'330 weekly movements along with 174'000tonnes of cargo.

On the airline's outlook, Mr Tewolde stated that it intends to increase its charter business while at the same time growing its African market presence with particular emphasis on Central Africa, set to become its forth African hub after Addis Ababa, Lomé and Lilongwe.

He also noted that Ethiopian is in the process of opening new routes to Los Angeles, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila and Moscow. The airline is also to commence work on a new state-of-the-art cargo terminal and a four-star hotel at its hub in Addis Ababa.