Ethiopia: Hiber Radio Interview with Anania Sorri and Mesfin Aman About EPRDF
We are also considering COMAC. China is a very strong partner. Business is based on partnership. China is the biggest per country market for Ethiopian Airlines. And we have been very pleased with the way the Chinese government has been treating us. This relationship is more than 40 years old. We have been flying to China since 1973. So we are happy that China is joining the single aisle jet aircraft manufacturing industry. We will evaluate it but to be honest with you it is at its early stage. I think the Chinese company COMAC estimates that the airplane would be flying in 2021. The C919 is a very good airplane but we will see. We are monitoring the technological progress.
Boeing recently unveiled the B777X, a new wide body aircraft. Ethiopian Airlines has been evaluating that aircraft. Are you still interested in the aircraft?
We have a mixed fleeing in that airplane. There are two models B777-8X and B777-9X on one side Ethiopian Airlines needs this airplane because of the high altitude of Addis Ababa. Addis is among very few airports in the world with 2400 meter altitude. There are may be four or five airports at this high altitude. All the other airports are at sea level. We have a special challenge because of the altitude as a result we need especial airplanes to manage this altitude. We lose ten to 20 tons up lift capacity at every take off on a wide body airplane. So because of that the B777X will enable us to fly nonstop may be from Addis to DC. At the same time with the information that we have so far the airplane is a bit expensive. We are still monitoring the development the airplane. We are taking our time to monitor how the airplane is going to appeal to the market. We know that Emirates has a big order. Not many other airlines have ordered. There are few other airlines. But the global spread is not as we expected. We are facing a problem like what we faced with C Series. The C Series by and large is confined to North America only. That is why we were very sceptical to order. Otherwise it is a very good airplane. The global distribution of airplanes is very important.
If an airplane is confined to a niche market or one region then the support network engineering, parts distribution will suffer. The market success of an airplane is very important for the customer not only to the manufacture.
Ethiopian Airlines will soon launch Vision 2035. Can you briefly tell us what the new growth strategy consists of?
Our 15 year growth strategy Vision 2025 is still going on. Fortunately, we have accomplished all of the targets that we planned to achieve in 2025 – eight years ahead. Since we have accomplished all the targets there is no point in talking about Vision 2025. We discussed with our board of directors and agreed that we should come up with a new strategic road map. That strategic road map has to comply with our planning policy which requires us to have 15 years strategic road map any time of the year on rolling basis. When we calculate 15 years from next year it becomes Vision2035. In about couple of months we are going to unveil our Vision 2035. It will be by and large scaling up the growth-fast, profitable and sustainable growth. We will not have much of strategic change or business model change but it will be scaling up the growth that we have witnessed in the Vision 2025.