Ethiopian Airlines Stays Profitable Despite Covid-19 Travel Bans

Revenue generated from the transportation of goods has allowed Ethiopian to keep up monthly fixed payments of $120 million to $150 million, the CEO said. The carrier is still flying about 40 charter repatriations a week while commercial flights are mostly grounded. (Getty Images)

Bloomberg

By Samuel Gebre

Ethiopian Airlines Group, Africa’s largest and only consistently profitable carrier, expects to stay in the black for the fiscal year that ends next week, even after the coronavirus upended the global aviation industry.

“We may not be as profitable as we expected but we registered some profit,” Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebre-Mariam said in an interview. “The first half of the year was good and the cargo business has also done very well.”

Revenue generated from the transportation of goods has allowed Ethiopian to keep up monthly fixed payments of $120 million to $150 million, including servicing loans, aircraft leases, salaries and rentals, the CEO said. The carrier is still flying about 40 charter repatriations a week while commercial flights are mostly grounded.

The airline still expects to be down almost $1 billion in ticket revenue for the year ending July 7. That’s in line with carriers worldwide, which are expected to lose a combined $84 billion this year, The International Air Transport Association said earlier this month. Many have had to seek bailouts to avoid collapse, including regional rivals South African Airways and Kenya Airways.

Negotiations between Ethiopian and Boeing NA over compensation for the Max jet may be finalized in the next two months, Tewolde said. The model was grounded around the world last year following a second fatal crash outside Addis Ababa in March 2019.

“We want the compensation as soon as possible,” the CEO said.

Related:

Ethiopian welcomes back business and leisure customers with emphasis on wellness

By: AJOT | Jun 29 2020 at 08:06 AM | Air Cargo News

During the pandemic, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline, was the go-to airline for essential travel, repatriation flights and airlift of medical and personal protective equipment (PPE). With the easing of travel restrictions across the globe, Ethiopian announced that it’s happy to welcome back business and leisure travelers with programs aimed at safeguarding their health and safety.

The program reinforces Ethiopian pledge to protect the health and safety of its customers and staff. It includes the steps the airline is taking to maintain customer and staff wellbeing through-out the service chain beginning from the first interaction with customers during ticketing/reservation and up to arrival at destination.

Ato Tewolde G. Mariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian, noted that “Ethiopian is proud to be there when the world needed it most – repatriating citizens, re-uniting families, facilitating essential travel and transporting much needed medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health professionals and the general public under very difficult and challenging circumstances. We are proud to be an integral part of the fight against COVID-19. Now we want to play a leading role in the new-normal. To a very large extent, it’s about getting back the confidence of business and leisure travelers. With the protective measures we are taking in line with CDC, IATA, ICAO and WHO guidelines, customers and staff can rest assured that their safety and health are well looked after when flying with us”.

Customers are advised to check travel restrictions of destination countries prior to arriving at the airport for a flight. Facemasks will be mandatory for travel. Except children under the age 2, all customers must keep their masks on throughout their journey.

All customer-facing staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). This includes ticket offices, airport and lounge staff, as well as cabin crew. Onboard service is redesigned to minimize contact while maintaining our African flavored Ethiopian hospitality. Items, such as magazines, menus and other reading materials, that were traditionally shared will no longer be available.


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