African commercial plane conglomerate Ethiopian Airlines has made large strides over the past year in becoming the continent’s main carrier for passenger and cargo travel. This week it was announced that the carrier purchased a 45 percent stake in Zambia Airways, a fellow commercial airline.
In addition to its purchase of Zambia Airways, Ethiopian is interested in re-launching Ghana’s national carriers.
These purchases all are a part of Ethiopia’s major strategic plan, Vision 2025. The plan focuses on the company becoming the central airline for African travel as a whole. In addition to stabilising the continent’s passenger and cargo travel, the company wants to help facilitate airport services and expand its own aviation academy.
The end goal for Vision 2025 is for Ethiopian Airlines to serve as the central airline for connections to smaller airports, create competition with other airlines, and establish Africa as a plane-friendly continent.
The company has already renovated its lounge at its major hub, Addis Ababa Airport. However, there is much more planned to help the company increase its appeal for customers.
The main strategy that the airline has decided to run with is that it will need to gain the support of other African Airlines. We have already seen the company move forward with part of this plan. However, managing partner for Sadim Airline Solutions, Michael Otieno, has said the airline does not want to become a monopoly.
This viewpoint will certainly serve as the backbone for the company’s Vision 2025. They need to find a strong balance between a major player in the travel industry and a friendly airline.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how Ethiopian’s development plan plays out and what new options it creates for travellers.