Ethiopian Airlines is the best and safe African carrier

Tigrai Online
Jan. 27 2009

Ethiopian airlines Boeing 767- Tigrai OnlineEthiopian Airlines, whose jet crashed on Monday after takeoff from Beirut, is one of Africa's fastest growing airlines and has had a good safety record for more than a decade.

The carrier started operations in 1946, a year after it was founded, and is considered to be among a trio of sub-Saharan aviation giants, alongside South African Airways and Kenyan Airways.

It serves 56 international destinations with 210 weekly international departures from its Addis Ababa hub and a total of 555 weekly international departures worldwide.

On its website the company says that it hopes to increase revenue to one billion dollars and to boost the number of international destinations it serves to 60 in 2010.

Ethiopian Airlines, which says it employs more than 5,000 people, currently has a fleet of 37 aircrafts and 35 more on order.

Last week Boeing said it had ordered 10 737-800 jets in a deal valued at 767 million dollars.

Until Flight 409 lost contact with Beirut airport control shortly after takeoff early Monday and crashed into the Mediterranean, Ethiopian had a better safety record than any other African airline except for South African Airways.

"Plane crashes caused by pilot error or maintenance negligence do not exist in Ethiopian Airlines' history," Ethiopian Airlines CEO Girma Wake told reporters in Addis Ababa Monday.

Apart from an emergency landing earlier this month that left no casualties, two incidents involving the company go back more than 10 years.

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