Ethiopian Airlines is the frontrunner to set up and manage a new national carrier for Nigeria.
Chief Executive Tewolde Gebremariam made the announcement on Friday last week saying: “We are among a small group with an interest in establishing a national carrier (in Nigeria)…we do not know the results (of the tender), though we are frontrunners.
The state-owned carrier has outpaced regional competitors Kenya Airways and South African Airways to become Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit, according to the International Air Transport Association.
The airline has been buying shares in other African airlines, a strategy aimed at gaining a competitive advantage against rivals such as those in the Gulf.
The airline also announced a record successful during the 2017/2018 fiscal year:
Ethiopian introduced additional +14 new aircraft, more than one aircraft per month;
The airline opened 8 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 number of passengers carried grew by +21% topping the 10 million mark for the first time in the airline’s history and reaching 10.6 million passengers;
Freight carried grew by +18% from previous fiscal year to attain 400,339 tons;
Operating revenue grew by +43% from previous fiscal year to culminate at 89.1 billion Ethiopian birr (ETB);
Net profit stood at 6.8 billion ETB.