Ethiopian Airlines Group has merged with Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) to form the African country’s new Aviation Holding Group.
The consolidation, which follows regulation approved by Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers on July 14 this year, sees the formation of a new holding group comprising EAE, Passenger Airline, Cargo Airline & Logistics Company, Ethiopian Aviation Academy, Ethiopian Inflight Catering Services, Ethiopian MRO Services and Ethiopian Hotel & Tourism Services.
A statement issued by Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s fastest growing carrier, said: “The holding company came on the scene with Ethiopian Airlines’ 15-year strategic plan dubbed ‘Vision 2025’. The companies under Ethiopian Airlines have been preparing themselves to stand autonomously for the last seven years since the launch of the plan.
“The regulation cites the merger will help the airline cope with the global aviation competitive market. The Enterprise has been running 23 airports: four are international, and some are under construction.
In 2010, Ethiopian Airlines set out its Vision 2025 programme for future growth, supporting the country’s huge export of perishables by expanding the airline’s cargo fleet and infrastructure.
The programme had a target of 725,000 tonnes of cargo handled by 2025, with the carrier achieving 270,000 tonnes in the 2015-16 financial year. The airline is also Africa’s largest cargo aircraft operator with a freighter fleet of six Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 757-200Fs.
Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam said of the merger: “The primary objective of the merger is to make our airports’ services more effective and efficient so as to enable it provide global standard customer services with the aim of promoting competitiveness with international airports in the region.”
In June this year, Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated its Cargo Terminal-II facility at home hub Addis Ababa. Covering a total area of 150,000 sq m the new facility includes a dry cargo terminal warehouse, a perishable cargo terminal with cool chain storage, fully automated with elevating transport vehicle (ETV) technology and an apron area for five additional large freighter aircraft.
In the same month the airline also announced a deal to purchase two B777 freighters as it continues to expand rapidly its cargo operations.