By Victor Shalton
Ethiopian Airlines Records Higher Profits, Expands Presence in Middle East
Ethiopian Airlines reported 79 percent revenue growth for its fiscal year that ended on July 30. According to Mamo Mihretu, the CEO of Ethiopian Investment Holdings, in a tweet, the state-owned airline recorded $5 billion in revenue this fiscal year, a growth of 79% over last year. Additionally, profits rose 90 percent to $937 million, despite headwinds from the deteriorating global economic outlook, rising costs and the global pandemic.
While the financial report document is not publicly available to glean more details from it, it is understood that Ethiopian Airlines will have transported more than 6 million international air travelers during the reporting period.
Founded in 1945, Ethiopian Airlines is one of Africa’s oldest and most trusted airlines. It has also remained one of the most profitable, especially since the pandemic disrupted global travel and the recent global energy crisis which sent the price of aviation fuel skyrocketing.
Kenya Airways — one of Ethiopian Airlines’ competitors — posted a loss of $82.4 million for its half-year ending June 2022. A recent forecast by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that African airlines will record net losses of around $700 million in 2022. Airlines recorded a revenue loss of $8.6 billion in 2021 and previously reported a staggering $10.21 billion revenue loss in 2020.
To meet the soaring demand for air travel, various airlines are adding routes to beef up their schedules. Ethiopian Airlines recently confirmed plans to add Jordan to its Middle East network in September — becoming the ninth country served by the carrier in the region.
Flights from the airline’s Addis Ababa hub to Amman, Jordan’s Queen Alia International will begin on Sept. 19 and will operate three times per week. The airline plans to use the Boeing 737-800 to operate the 2,544km route.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said, “With the commencement of our new flight to Amman, passengers departing from/to the middle east can enjoy the extensive Ethiopian network worldwide with convenient connectivity and smooth transfer at Addis Ababa. Our new flight will also further strengthen the economic ties between Ethiopia and Jordan.”
The airline originally intended to start flights to Amman in July 2019, but the launch was initially delayed until October before being scrapped altogether. It then revived the plans in July 2021, saying flights would begin in August. However, the launch failed to materialize until this year.
Ethiopian Airlines will be the sole carrier to offer nonstop service between Ethiopia and Jordan once the route begins — with Amman becoming its 11th destination in the Middle East.
BMI British Midland was the last airline to serve the Addis Ababa-Amman, Jordan route in June 2012. The now-defunct carrier operated flights from London Heathrow’s Airport to Amman via Addis Ababa to Amman and back to London’s Heathrow Airport.
Ethiopian Airlines will serve Amman from Addis Ababa on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing from Ethiopia’s capital at 10:30 p.m. and arriving in Jordan’s capital at 2:05 a.m. the following day. The return service operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, departing Amman at 3:05 a.m. and arriving in Addis Ababa at 6:44 a.m.