The multi award winner giant, Ethiopian airlines contributes to economic development by enabling the movement of passengers and goods across borders, generating revenue to the country’s economy; registering an average growth of 25% for the past seven years.
Commercial airports have a huge economic impact in Ethiopia meeting the travel needs of business and leisure visitors within the country and beyond. It plays an integral role in shipping time‐sensitive cargo. The airport itself is a significant generator of economic activity through employment, brining hard currency to the local economy. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global air travel has expanded tenfold and air cargo fourteen fold compared to only a threefold to fourfold rise in world GDP. The principal benefits are created for passengers and carter’s using the air transport service. On the other hand, the networks created between countries and markets represent an important infrastructure asset that generates businesses through foreign direct investment enhancing the economy’s productive capacity.
Portraying such growth, the Ethiopian Airlines has seen a 7% progression in air traffic from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter 2015. For the first time in its 69 years’ history, the commercial airline earned $ 2.3 billion in 2013. Domestic travel has picked up at an estimated 20% annual growth complemented by strong local routes such as Mekelle and Bahir-dar and other in-continent flight routes, such as to Kenya, the Republic of Sudan, Nigeria and South Africa, as well as international routes to America and Dubai.
Ethiopian Airlines also predicts a further pickup in international traffic with India, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam, which are becoming major trading partners with Ethiopia and other African countries. The African carrier is currently flying to over 90 international destinations across five continents and with aspirations to expand to more than 146 destinations worldwide. Although the airline is set to grasp growth in both revenue and air traffic, lack of infrastructure in the continent poses a great barrier to further expansion.
“Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest growing Airline in Africa and a strong competitor globally. In its seven decades of operations, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers delivering efficient services, earning travelers first choice and trust,” said Estelle Verdier, Managing Director of Jovago East and Southern Africa. “It continues to support Ethiopia’s economy and the tourism industry in particular.” She added.
Ethiopian has the lion share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network owning modern aircrafts which are environmentally friendly. Certainly, the future holds great… for the airline company with the growth of local and international tourism.
International tourist arrivals worldwide are expected to increase by over 3% annually to reach 1.8 billion by 2030, according to UNWTO’s long-term forecast. Between 2015 and 2030, arrivals in emerging destinations are expected to increase at twice the rate of those in advanced economies. The market share of emerging economies is expected to reach 57% by 2030, equivalent to over a billion international tourist arrivals booming commercial airlines revenues and Ethiopian airlines is no exception.
By Eden Sahle