Africa’s giant state owned Ethiopian airlines is supporting the tourism sector, one of the key sector of the economy. Tourism has become the major emerging economic wing supporting the country’s mission to become one of the top destinations in Africa.
The Ethiopian has come a long way aspiring to become the leading aviation group in Africa, having its full-fledged business centers and in house academies accepting students from all over Africa. The airline has been expanding, purchasing latest technology aircrafts; being the first in Africa to buy the luxurious and fuel efficient A350XWB. Ethiopian has the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating in 92 international destinations across five continents. Its massive fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as the Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-200 Freighter.
Such expansion of transportation facilities has not only become the key development focus but also a strategic facility to promote destinations along with introducing new flight routes, even to remote and previously inaccessible destinations. In an effort to revolutionize and expand airport facilities to meet international standards Africa’s most profitable airline, Ethiopian Airline, continues to heavily invest in improving infrastructure and buying latest technology aircrafts to entice several number of tourism and business travelers. According to International Air Transport Association, in 2015 it recorded profits of $148 million, topping all other African carriers combined.
The airline has never stopped making history in Ethiopia since its first arrival to the country in 1929, when French made airplane landed in the capital city Addis Ababa. A year later, the government added five planes to provide postal, security and government services between Dire Dewa, Gondor and Djibouti. It was 16 years later that the airline under its current name started operations, having only six small aircrafts. In 1955 the airlines replaced its operations through local staff members with its own maintenance facility, functioning under the title ‘One of the trusted airline brands in the world’.
Keeping its high record, it has registered an average growth of 25% in the past seven years being the first choice of travelers. The tourism growth not only reflects the breakneck step of the country’s efforts to earn a middle income status, but also plays a role in changing how the world perceives Ethiopia.
The country is focused on the importance of travel and tourism sector that has an important impact on its global competitiveness. The government has been allocating funds to develop the tourism sector, while hospitality sector investors such as hotels and Jumia Travel coordinate among each other to bring both tourists and corporate travelers into the country.
Realizing the high return of the tourism sector, service providers have been perfecting what they offer to increase the number of visitors in the country. Quality services and development has increased the country attractiveness for many travelers, as well as for investors in the sector. Cheaper transport charges, hotel accommodation and cost of living also continue to motivate visitors to travel to Ethiopia.
By Eden Sahle