For the second successive year, Ethiopian Airlines has been crowned the Best Airline in Africa by Skytrax for 2018. In 1999, Skytrax started the World Airline Awards, its first global annual airline customer satisfaction survey. At that time, Ethiopian Airlines had been in operation for 54 years.
Ethiopian Airlines currently has 100 planes in service. In 2010, the Airline formulated a 15 year plan that would see it become the biggest on the continent by 2025. Part of the strategy involves a target of 120 planes by 2025, but with 100 planes already in service, the Airline has raised its 2025 target to 150 planes.
In 2000, Skyrax’s survey attracted a worldwide completion of 2.2 million entries. The 2017-2018 survey attained 20.36 million entries worldwide. According to Skyrax, the survey from the outset was to deliver a survey and airline awards process that is independent, impartial and global.
Tewolde Gebremariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said, “we have expanded more than we planned.” The Airlines increased its fleet this year with 13 Boeing 787 jets and six Airbus A350 planes. The Airline has also been acquiring stakes in other national carriers. In 2013, Ethiopian Airlines acquired a minority stake in Malawi Airlines. It aims to create a new airline for Mozambique, which it will fully own, and it’s in discussion with other countries that will set up their national carriers.
Ethiopian Airlines leads the pack as the best airlines in Africa. It is followed by South African Airways, Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Mango, Fastjet, Kulula and TAAG Angola Airlines.
According to the International Air Transport Association,Ethiopian Airlines“has outpaced regional competitors Kenya Airways and South African Airways to become Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit.” In the 2016/17 financial year, Ethiopian Airlines generated $2.7 billion in revenue, an 11% increment from the previous year. Passenger numbers also increased by more than18% to 9 million. With Nigeria planning to resurrect its national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines is already making plans to be involved in it.