Ethiopian Airlines Expects 30% Increase in Passenger Traffic in Current Year, CEO Reports

Ethiopian Airlines is poised for a substantial increase in passenger traffic, expecting a 30% surge in the fiscal year ending in June, buoyed by expanded routes and a global travel resurgence, according to its CEO’s statement to Reuters. Despite its status as Africa’s largest airline, it grapples with challenges including delayed aircraft deliveries and plane groundings due to engine shortages stemming from supply chain disruptions. Particularly, Boeing’s delay in delivering narrow-body passenger jets and grounding wide-body aircraft for long-haul travel pose significant operational hurdles. However, Ethiopian Airlines does not operate the variant of Boeing’s MAX jets facing safety concerns, expressing confidence in Boeing’s capability to address such issues effectively.

With a fleet of 146 planes—below its optimal level of 150—due to delivery delays, the airline holds firm orders for 70 Boeing and Airbus planes and options for 54 more, part of its ambitious plan to double fleet and route network by 2035, projecting a 400% revenue and 440% passenger number increase by then.

In the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Ethiopian Airlines shows promising progress toward its growth targets, with passenger numbers indicating advancement and a notable 20% revenue surge to $7.3 billion. The airline’s expansion strategy encompasses introducing new destinations like London Gatwick, Madrid, and Bangui while bolstering frequencies on existing routes. Additionally, it’s investing in its cargo business, notably with the launch of a $55 million e-commerce shipment handling facility in Addis Ababa, catering to the rising demand for e-commerce services across the African continent.