Business World

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Biggest airline in all of Africa had last major crash in 2010

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Ethiopian Airlines is one of the pioneers of African aviation and the continent's biggest airline.

Owned by the Ethiopian state, it was founded in 1945 and has expanded widely, with a route network stretching right around the globe.

That includes a presence in Dublin, from where the airline offers flights to a number of African cities, including Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.

Recently it cancelled a service from Dublin to Los Angeles.

It has had a number of crashes before. In 2010, a flight caught fire shortly after take-off from Beirut, killing all 90 people on board.

In 1988, 31 people were killed in another crash shortly after take-off from Bahar Dar in Ethiopia, when the aircraft hit a flock of birds.

A terrorist hijacking in 1996 also resulted in the loss of another aircraft, with more than 100 people killed.

In financial terms, the company reported revenues of $2.71bn (€2.41bn) and profits of $233m (€208m) in its most recently published annual report. It carried almost nine million passengers and 318,000 tonnes of cargo, the report said.

"We see incredible opportunities for growth with the continued economic development of Africa and the need for increased air connectivity," group chief executive Tewolde GebreMeriam said.

The Ethiopian government last year approved a plan to sell part of its stake in the carrier. Mr GebreMeriam backed the plan, and raised the possibility of selling shares to other African countries.

Irish Independent

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