AFRICA’s SUPER carrier plans to DOUBLE its fleet by 2035 – what you should know

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Ethiopian Airlines has announced a progressive goal to expand its fleet and enlarge its network. The airline’s “Vision 2035” plans, confirmed recently, will introduce more than a hundred new aircraft to its fleet.

Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines plans to add more cities to its network, totaling its destination network to more than 200 by 2035. The Star Alliance carrier is currently the largest airline in Africa and has a sizeable operation between Africa and Asia, becoming more profitable.

Mesfin Tasew, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, spoke to the Ethiopian News Agency about the carrier’s strategic plans to grow.

“In vision 2035, we have aimed to nearly double the number of destinations that we will be flying by increasing the number of destinations from 131 today to 207; and to cover this expansion, we have planned again to double the number of aircraft in our flight from 140 to 271. We have planned to carry 65 million passengers and 3 million tons of cargo. We aim to generate 25 billion USD revenue by 2035.”

The new plan comes as the airline has already achieved its goal for 2025. Tasew said vision 2035 would sustain the carrier’s fast and profitable growth. Ethiopian has been recognized as the most reliable and financially successful airline in Africa, domestically and internationally by evaluating and welcoming new aircraft.

Ethiopian will reportedly make a final decision on what exactly its fleet growth will entail in the coming months. Tasew said the airline is actively looking at new Airbus and Embraer family aircraft to bridge the capacity gap between its Boeing 737 and De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft currently in its fleet.

“Currently, we are conducting a fleet evaluation on the narrowbody side for 100-seater aircraft: the Airbus A220 and Embraer 195 E2,” the CEO said.

The carrier will welcome its 19th Airbus A350 to its fleet by the end of the month. In July 2016, the carrier became the first airline to operate the A350 in Africa. This past summer, Ethiopian confirmed that it upgraded four existing Airbus A350-900 orders to the larger A350-1000 variant.

Credit: Mark-Anthony Johnson