AFRICANGLOBE – While the fate of Nigeria National Carrier still hangs in the balance, Ethiopia’s national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is breaking grounds and creating economic prosperity for its country.
Recall the immediate past minister of aviation, Princess Stella, had rekindled hope of Nigerians when she began effort to revive the national carrier. But nothing significant has been achieved till date and nothing is currently on ground to suggest Nigeria will get a national carrier anytime soon.
Meanwhile, aviation experts say Nigeria may be losing in excess of $100 billion annually through the value chain by not investing in a national carrier.
But while Nigeria continues to lose capacity and opportunity in its aviation industry, countries like Ethiopia are gaining significantly.
Just this week, Ethiopian Airlines, Enterprise, Africa’s largest carrier by revenue, agreed to buy 20 redesigned 737 models valued at $2.1 billion in the largest single order for Boeing (BA) Co. planes from the continent.
The order for the single-aisle Max 8, the first of four redesigned 737 models, comes with an option for an additional 15 planes, the companies had said in a statement. The Boeing model will be a key component of the Addis Ababa-based carrier’s 15-year plan to expand its business to carry 18 million passengers a year, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde GebreMariam, said during a tourism forum in Chicago.
“The African market has had a lot of great potential, but service has been a problem,” Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace consultant with Fairfax, Virginia-based Teal Group, said in a telephone. “There are strong signs of improvement, led by Ethiopian and other airlines. This order shows a commitment to operate the most modern jets on domestic and intra-African routes.”
The order had been announced previously on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website, without identifying the airline.
By: Chris Agabi