You’ve had a long career with Ethiopian Airlines rising through the ranks for a number of years.
Yes, 30 years. I started early with the airline as a customer service agent. I joined the airline in 1984; I was 18 years old, right from school, I grew up in Ethiopian Airlines. It’s the only company I know.
In that time how would you characterize the changes you’ve see in the industry?
Oh, so many changes. When I joined the airline years ago, competition was not perhaps as cutthroat as it is today. Following the liberalization of the US market, followed by Europe and the other markets, that has changed tremendously the nature of the industry. And the other change, of course, is aircraft technology, which has changed the way airlines fly. In what way?
In the old days, Europe had the oldest and most successful hub and spoke aviation hub of the world. If you wanted to travel from South America, North America to Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe was the hub. But today, the Gulf carriers are changing that, and the aircraft technology has also changed that structure.
How have you tapped into those changes at Ethiopian Airlines in the past few years?