Ethiopian Airlines has won the Decade of Airline Excellence Awards as Africa’s best-performing airline of the past 10 years. The carrier took the accolade in the African regional category of the Awards. The award was organised by Flight Global in association with Airline Business and Korn Ferry.
Operating in an incredibly challenging region for airlines, state-owned Ethiopian evolved over the decade from a national carrier to the first true pan-African airline, based on a strategy that leveraged its hub in Addis Ababa and strategic equity investments in smaller national African operators. “Under the leadership of Tewolde Gebremariam since 2011, the year in which the carrier also joined the Star Alliance, Ethiopian’s core strategy has been underpinned by disciplined management and a productive relationship with its government owners,” said Lewis Harper, Managing Editor of Airline Business magazine.
Ethiopian Airlines dominated the discussion among judges when it came to the Africa award. “I think they are the outstanding airline in Africa by far,” one judge said, reflecting wider sentiment among the panel. “I particularly like Ethiopian’s involvement in economic development in the country,” said a judge. All the while it deployed a modern fleet and progressive business approaches, leading to some impressive financial returns. It recorded an eight-fold increase in revenues and a six-fold rise in profitability over the decade.