Ethiopian Airlines posted net profit of ETB 6.8 billion ($245 million) for the 2017/18 fiscal year as new routes and business development fuelled growth.
The African carrier’s operating revenue also grew by 43 per cent from previous fiscal year to ETB 89.1 billion. Passengers carried grew by 21 per cent topping the 10 million mark for the first time in the airline’s history at 10.6 million.
During the year, Ethiopian took delivery of its 100th aircraft – becoming the first in Africa to do as it introduced 14 new aircraft in the fiscal year.
The airline opened eight new international destinations, namely Geneva (Switzerland), Chicago (USA), Bahrain, Kaduna (Nigeria), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Kisangani and Mbuji-Mayi (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Nosy-Be (Madagascar).
The carrier said the results are in line with its 15 year strategic roadmap, Vision 2025 and chief executive officer, Tewolde GebreMariam said it was an “an exceptional year” for Ethiopian with record performance in financial, operational, commercial and customer service areas.
He added: “This performance is all the more exceptional given the very tough operating and competitive environment in Africa, where jet fuel price, our main cost driver, has soared during the year and is on average 30% more expensive in Africa, our home market, than in the rest of the world, putting the continent’s carriers at a severe competitive disadvantage.
“This remarkable result was also achieved in the backdrop of aggressive foreign carriers’ penetration into the African market with the African airline industry collectively forecasted to loss money.
“The historical performance attests the soundness of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025. During the next 2018/19 fiscal year, we aim to further grow our network, introduce record number of modern fleet and greatly enhance the on-ground customer service at our main hub with the opening at the end of 2018 of the newly expanded and significantly upgraded airport terminals in Addis Ababa.”