You know, in 2005 we took a serious look at the airline and we decided that the airline had not grown as much as it should in its 60-year history. As you know in the airline industry, size matters. Because of the economies of scale, you need to establish a minimum critical mass, especially if you are a network carrier, a hub and spoke system. So because of this, we came out with Vision 2010. And the main objective in that strategy was to grow the airline business to a billion US dollars by 2010, from $308 million. How successful was it?
By 2010 when we closed the financial year, we exceeded that figure; we actually closed the year with $1.3 billion. And then all other measurements like ASK, RPK, number of passengers, number of planes, we exceeded almost all the parameters.
So what’s the next step for Ethiopian Airlines?
Vision 2010 was successful. But now we have to think of a longer-term planning horizon. So we decided to spread it out to 15 years, and that is our Vision 2025. In that vision we have all the new, advanced technology airplanes. We also made the analysis of the fastest growing regions in the world, especially Asia, Africa, Middle East and South America, and we are located right in the middle. We committed ourselves that if we do the right things at the right time, the right circumstances are there for us to grow.
New planes and a great strategic location. What other factors are you counting on to meet your Vision 2025 goal?
Our internal strengths, which would be our employees and the special dedication that the management and the employees have to the airline. That is a huge competitive advantage.
You recently started service from Addis Ababa to Dublin and Los Angeles. Can business travelers expect more of these developments from Ethiopian Airlines in the future?