Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it is collaborating with the European Union to establish an international business school under the Airline’s Aviation Academy which will be delivering an MBA programme.
“We are very pleased to sign this letter of intent with the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia to establish an international business school under our Aviation Academy, which will be delivering a worldclass MBA program. Once established, the school will be a significant addition to the leadership courses we are delivering at our Aviation Academy, an ICAO designated Regional Training Center of Excellence.
“We look forward to launching the MBA courses and shape as many young African minds as possible, adding value to their academic and professional lives,” said the Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam.
The letter was signed by H.E. Ambassador Johan Borgstam, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia and GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines on December 4, 2018, at the Airline’s Headquarters.
The airline’s Aviation Academy, which will host the programme, has for over 60 years been providing training in pilot, cabin crew, commercial and aviation maintenance courses as well as leadership and career development courses.
“…It is our firm conviction that this will help addressing the challenges of youth unemployment as well as ensuring the successful implementation of the second phase of the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan,” said Ambassador Borgstam.
In the wake of reforms being championed by the Ethiopian administration, the country has emerged as a premium destination for long-haul travel to sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.
The Bole International Airport in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa recently overtook Dubai as the leading gateway to the region, citing data from the travel intelligence agency ForwardKeys.
On the back of this, travel bookings between November 2018 and January 2019, are set to grow by 40% which is way ahead when compared to other destinations across Africa. The figure will be an increase from January to October 2018 growth predictions which was at 12.2%.
“Some of Ethiopia’s increase in international flight bookings can be attributed to new-found confidence in the wake of reforms carried out by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he took the oath of office in April,” Olivier Ponti, the Deputy President of ForwardKeys said when presenting the findings of the report during a presentation at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Africa Leaders Forum in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The reforms the travel agency specifically mentioned were the signing of a peace deal with Eritrea in July, a new e-visa policy introduced in June, which allows all international visitors to apply for a visa online and a promise to open Ethiopia’s markets to private investment.
These have attracted the country to many international travellers, the agency said.
The latest development has also been attributed to the successes of the state carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline that flies to more destinations within the continent than any other airline
With its operational hub at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to more than 113 passenger destinations, with an additional 35 destinations for freights. The Ethiopian carrier has secondary hubs in Togo and Malawi, and has resuscitated non-operational airlines including Zambia’s, and also collaborated with airlines in Chad and Mozambique.
The multi-award winning airline, with its modernized fleet, new aircraft maintenance hangars, and world-class in-flight catering facility has over the years experienced rapid growth, increased profitability, and made an outstanding contribution to aviation development in Africa, registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.
Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will make it the leading aviation group in Africa with six business centres: Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian ADD Hub Ground Services and Ethiopian Airports Services. The plan is to also improve the carrier’s cargo transport, airport services, expand its aviation school and passenger handling.
After the completion of the $345 million upgrades, Bole Airport in Addis Ababa is expected to raise the capacity of annual travellers from 7 to 22 million.
ForwardKeys adds that while Ethiopia remains a destination for travellers from the Sub-Saharan regions and different areas across the globe, a majority come from Europe.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is a market of opportunity. Across the region, carriers are increasing seat capacity on international flights by +6 on average; that is an encouraging sign,” said Ponti.
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 per cent increase in passenger numbers over the year.