Ethiopian Airlines recently won the award for the “Best African Airline of the Year 2016.” The award is the second for Ethiopia’s national carrier.
Aviation Africa, the organizers of the award, said the award is in recognition of the airline’s continued rapid growth, increased profitability, and outstanding contribution to aviation development in Africa.
The award was presented during the 26th Annual Air Finance Africa Conference & Exhibition, which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to the East African.
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Receiving the award, Meseret Bitew, the airline’s acting CFO said, “We are pleased to win the award for the second time in a row, a testimony of our commitment to serve our beloved continent Africa.
“We shall continue to play vital roles in connecting African countries with their major trading partners around the world and realize an economically liberal Africa.”
With its operational hub at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to 113 passenger destinations, with an additional 35 destinations for freights.
It is Africa’s largest airline, flying to more destinations within the continent than any other airline.
Announcing the award, Nick Fadugba, African Aviation CEO, said, “Ethiopian Airlines has achieved a record financial turnover and profitability in spite of various industry challenges. Currently, the airline is well on track to exceed the goals of its Vision 2025 Strategy.”
As Fadugba mentioned, despite a turbulent year for airlines in Africa, the Ethiopian carrier expanded its route network, modernized its fleet, inaugurated three new aircraft maintenance hangars, and introduced a world-class in-flight catering facility.
Founded in 1945 by Emperor Haile Selassie, Ethiopian Airlines is one of a few profitable national carriers operating in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the Star Alliance and one of the fastest-growing airlines in the global aviation industry.
In 2016, the airline reported a net profit of $265 million. The results reflected an 18 percent increase in passenger numbers over the year.