Ethiopian Airlines Profile
Ethiopian Airlines was established in December 1945 with a management contract signed with the then Trans world Airlines (TWA). The agreement included the provision of spares and ground equipment’s and the hiring of flying, technical and other key personnel by TWA. Initially the airline bought five US Government war surplus Douglas C-47/DC-3 Skytrain transports. A week after the delivery of the aircraft the airline flew its first charter operation to Nairobi carrying the East African currency that the Ethiopian state Bank needed to transport. On April 8 the same year it made it’s first ever scheduled commercial passenger flight to Cairo via Asmara and then followed weekly services to Djibouti and Aden, as well as a domestic flight to Jimma. By the late 1940s, Ethiopian’s route network extended to Nairobi, Port Sudan, Bombay and it frequently operated charter flights to Jeddah.
In 1954 Ethiopian made its inaugural flight to Athens, its first destination in Europe. By the end of the decade Ethiopian had bought three Convair 240 aircraft which featured a fully furnished interior and pressurized cabin. The CV-240 Cruised at high altitude bringing new level of passenger comfort and safety. In January 1957, Captain Alemayehu Abebe was successfully checked out as the first Ethiopian Commercial aircraft commander which set the tempo for a journey towards the ultimate Ethiopianization of the airline. Four years later, Ethiopian pioneered the first east-west flights across Africa to Monrovia with intermediate stops in Khartoum and Accra.
In June 1960 Ethiopian made a decision to upgrade its fleet and chose the Boeing 720B quad-jet. This made Ethiopian the first airline to operate a jet powered aircraft in Africa. The first jet service was inaugurated on 15 January 1963, from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. Even more historic was the delivery of the third of the Boeing 720Bs which was flown in by an-all Ethiopian cockpit crew with Captain Alemayehu on the controls.
Ethiopian foresaw the importance of self sufficiency in training its own staff and performing technical maintenance on its fleet from the onset. With this in mind the Pilot Training School (PTS) and the Multinational Aviation Maintenance Technician School (AMTS) were commissioned in 1964 and in 1967 respectively. These centers of excellence did not only provide training to Ethiopians but also to cadets from other African and Middle Eastern countries. In the technical arena the first jet -engine to undergo a complete overhaul on the African continent was successfully carried out in Ethiopian’s engine maintenance, facility in 1964. Today, its training and maintenance facilities carry out sophisticated maintenance, repair and overhaul operations and are approved by regulatory agencies and accreditation institutions such the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority chnologically advanced the African Civil Aviation Commission and the Fede Aviation Administration.
In the early 1980s Ethiopian became the first airline in the world to order the technologically advanced Boeing 767-200ER twin-jet. The aircraft delivered on 1 June 1984 had flown non-stop from Washington DC to Addis Ababa. In a record flying time of 13 hours and 17 minutes, a first for a twin-jet at the time. In 1998 Ethiopian launched a twice-weekly service to Washington, its first destination in the Americas and flights to New York followed shortly after.
To support its route expansion an its route expansion and fleet enhancement program Ethiopian decided in 2002 to renew its fleet and took delivery of 6 brand new B767-300ERs and B737-700NGS with blended winglets. Currently the airline’s commercial fleet includes six B767-300C one B767-200ER, five brand new B737-700NGS, O B737-200 Classic, five B757-260s, five Fokker-505, two De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters and one B757-260PF dedicated freighter.
In early 2005 Ethiopian completed an agreement the purchase of ten of the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets for delivery beginning in 2008 making it the first African airline to operate this modem aircraft when delivered in 2008. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a revolutionary aircraft made of advanced materials and it features efficient operating economics, unprecedented level of passenger comfort and state-of-the-art in flight entertainment.
On 5 may 2006 Ethiopian inaugurated the newly constructed cargo terminal and maintenance hangar. The cargo terminal is equipped with state of the art cargo handling and storage facilities while the maintenance hangar can accommodate aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus 340. The construction of these facilities is a testament to Ethiopian’s commitment towards innovation, enhanced customer service and safety. On the same day Ethiopian celebrated 60 years of reliable air transport service and it’s with profound conviction that we say “dedication brought us this far and passion will take us even farther”.
Source: Ethiopian Airlines