Ethiopian Airlines is powering ahead with a plan to expand its fleet and route network after exceeding its profit target for the 2014-2015 year, its chief executive said in an interview.
The state-owned carrier is ranked the largest airlines in Africa by revenue and profit by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global industry body.
CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said the firm had revenue of 49.4 billion birr ($2.39 billion) in its fiscal year ended July 7, exceeding a target of 43 billion birr. He attributed the growth to a rise in passenger numbers and to expansion of maintenance, catering and aviation training services.
Ethiopian Airlines plans to increase revenue to $10 billion by 2025 by nearly doubling its fleet of 77 aircraft and opening new routes. It currently has 77 planes, including 13 787- 8 Dreamliners by Boeing. It ordered six more Dreamliners in June. It has 50 planes on order altogether, including 14 A350s by Airbus, and expects to increase its fleet of Dreamliners to 30 in 10 years’ time, the CEO said.
The airline has targeted the growing trade ties between Asia and Africa in recent years, as well as that with Brazil by inaugurating flights to Rio de Janeiro. It also launched flights to Los Angeles and Toronto this year.
Tewolde said Ethiopian Airplanes is planning Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Shenzhen as its next Asian destinations, as well as adding Oslo in Europe and New York and Chicago in the United States