During a visit to Ethiopian Airlines' Headquarters in Addis Ababa on March 5, 2013, Pierre Beaudoin, Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc., held extensive discussions with Ethiopian CEO Tewolde Gebremariam and other senior executive management members regarding Ethiopian successful Q400* NextGen* aircraft operations. The two companies are working to enhance their already strong and mutually beneficial relationship, in view of the expected high growth of regional intra-Africa travel in the coming years.
With its fleet of 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft, Ethiopian is the largest operator of the Bombardier-manufactured Q400 aircraft in Africa, deploying the aircraft in domestic and regional operations. The airline recently phased-in five new Q400 NextGen aircraft that were the first outfitted with a dual-class configuration on Bombardier’s production line. With seven fully dedicated business class seats, a second lavatory, and hot meal capability, Ethiopian is able to offer more services to its customers. Ethiopian plans to reconfigure its existing fleet of Q400 aircraft with a fully dedicated business class.
Ethiopian is investing heavily in the development of maintenance and training capabilities for the aircraft in the region, including for Bombardier’s Q100*, Q200*, Q300* and Q400 aircraft. It was recently granted approval from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for full airframe maintenance capability of the Q100, Q200, Q300 and Q400 aircraft. Ethiopian will also soon receive a Q400 aircraft simulator, the first one in Africa, which will be used for pilot training. Ethiopian is also working to get authorization from Bombardier to provide full airframe maintenance services on the Q400 aircraft.
"We are very happy with the performance of the Q400 NextGen aircraft in our domestic and regional operations," said Mr. Tewolde. “The regional intra-Africa travel is set to boom in the coming years and we see a bright future for our relationship with Bombardier. In line with our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, we will need more regional aircraft, not just to cater for our own fast-growing domestic and regional network, but also to realize our multi-hub strategy in Africa. Already, we have a strong regional partner in West Africa ASKY, which is also using the Q400 aircraft. We plan to build similar strong regional hubs in Southern and Central Africa."
"Having the right fleet with commonality, optimal range, load and passenger comfort will be critical to be competitive in this market. We look forward to working with Bombardier to expand our mutually beneficial relationship in the coming years," added Mr. Gebremariam.
"Africa has significant growth potential over the next 20 years and is an important part of Bombardier’s globalization strategy," said Mr. Beaudoin. "We are excited about the opportunities for expanding business and commercial aviation in the region and look forward to working with leading carriers like Ethiopian to develop the market fully."
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Beaudoin toured Ethiopian’s aircraft maintenance facilities.
With its acquisition of and firm orders for several new modern aircraft, the airline is well positioned to pursue aggressively the implementation of its 2025 strategic plan to become the leading aviation group in Africa.
*Trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.
Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946 and now the airline provides dependable services to 70 international destinations spanning four continents.
Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,555 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.
Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products. Recently, Ethiopian won "Airline Reliability Performance Award" from Bombardier Aerospace; "African Airline of the Year Award" from Air Transport Quarterly Magazine; "Transformation Award 2012" from Planet Africa Network; "International Diamond Prize for Excellence in Quality" from the European Society for Quality Research (ESQR). Also Captain Desta Zeru, Vice-President of Flight Operations, won "Africa Legend of Travel" award from African Travel Quarterly (ATQ) magazine; and Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, won "African CEO of the year" from the African CEO Forum as well as "African Business Leader of the Year" award from the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).