BT: Ge­bre­Mariam:

Business Traveler (USA) - - UPFRONT -

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?

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