Ethiopian Airlines has downplayed it’s sturdy growth of operations in the African travel market.
The chief executive officer of the airline Tewolde Gebremariam responded emphatically to the claim raised by some experts and aviation pundits about the airline’s capture of the African market with major acquisitions in national carriers culminating in near monopoly to the disadvantage of other carriers.
The CEO who was speaking exclusively to the AViaDev Insight Africa podcast during the inaugural flight from Addis Ababa to Manchester said ‘’ Our managing share holding is minority, it’s being controlled by the countries, it is not dominating but rather supporting and only strategic partners. They have their own brand. Mozambique is the only exception. All others we have minority shares. Chad Airlines is Chad Airlines not Ethiopian Airlines, so I don’t think it is domination but supporting the countries to realize their dreams of having their own airlines’’.
On its operation in Africa, Mr Gebremariam said, “we will have to develop hubs in West Africa, central, southern and eastern Africa. The second objective is to enable African countries to realize their ambition of having their national carriers. They have tried it in the past and it didn’t work, name them Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia Chad so now we are coming with expertise and management and professionalism to develop their national carriers’’ he stressed.
Asked about by podcaster Jon Howell about the room for Lome and Accra to accommodate the business model of Ethiopian, the CEO said Togo is for the francophone Africa and Accra is for Anglophone West African. We will use both of them as hub to fly to North America.
AviaDev Insight is the first podcast dedicated to the African aviation industry. They bring prominent industry voices to the table to establish the “ground truth” in an informal and candid fashion. The podcast was created by Jon Howell, Founder and Managing Director of AviaDev Africa, Africa’s premier event dedicated to developing air connectivity to, from and within the African continent