Ethiopian Airlines, the largest and most profitable airline in Africa, took delivery of its 11th Boeing 787 Dreamliner early February. One of the new routes to be served by the B787-8 will be Addis Ababa-Dublin-Los Angeles, starting from June, which will allow the airline to offer the Irish market another option to reach the West Coast of the United States non-stop out of Dublin. This is also the only non-stop connection between Ireland and Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines has also announced new destinations in Europe, China and the Far East, including Tokyo Narita, which will be served via Hong Kong, making Ethiopian the number one African carrier to the South and Far East. Tokyo will be the airline’s 11th destination in Asia.
Founded in December 1945, the airline turns 70 this year, making it a pioneer in African aviation. The company reported the highest ever number of passengers carried – more than 6 million last year – and record turnover and profits for the financial year.
Continuing its aviation technology leadership in Africa, Ethiopian has also acquired the first ever B-787 Dreamliner full flight simulator in Africa. The installation and construction of the full flight simulator is in progress at Ethiopian’s main hub in Addis Ababa, and the first pilot training in the B-787 flight simulator will start in March.
Ethiopian was the first airline in the world, outside Japan, to receive and operate the B-787 Dreamliner in August 2012. Currently, the airline is the largest operator of the B-787 in Africa. ‘With the B-787 Flight Simulator, we will be fully self-sufficient in providing in-house training for our pilots on the B-787 aircraft, which has become our core fleet on our mid and long range routes,’ said Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian.
‘Over the last four years, we have invested $80 million in expanding both the scope and scale of our Academy. In line with our 15 years strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, we will continue to invest heavily in our Academy with the objective of increasing its annual intake capacity from 1,000 trainees to about 4,000 by 2025.’
The Ethiopian Aviation Academy is certified by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the U.S Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and IOSA (IATA Safety Audit). The Academy has been providing training for pilots, maintenance technicians, cabin crew, marketing and leadership for the airline and other sisterly carriers in Africa for more than six decades.