RIGHT AFTER THE ITALIAN OCCUPATION of Ethiopia in 1930,His Majesty Haile Selassie founded Ethiopian Airlines on December 1st, 1945, complete with a Maintenance and Training Facility. After independence, he wanted to modernize Ethiopia and position it as a model for African Development. Since all the provinces were far apart and separated by difficult terrain, he knew that the only way to pull the nation together and connect the country quickly would be with airplanes.
His plan was to extend the service to link all of Africa with Ethiopia as its center. Prior to the arrival of Ethiopian Airlines, the foreign carriers had exorbitant prices so prices were regulated, resulting in the failure of many of the international carriers operating in the territory. In 2012, Ethiopian Airlines had a profit of $ 42 million dollars. Through this linking of Africa, the Organization of African Unity (OAU; French: Organization de l'unité africaine (OUA)) was established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, with 32 signatory governments. It was disbanded on 9 July 2002 by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and replaced by the African Union (AU).
Ethiopian Airlines was used to bring all African Heads of State to assemblies in Addis Ababa. His Airline Company allowed him to travel quickly to hotspots where he would use his diplomatic skills to achieve results when tension was spilling over into conflict. In 1965 or 1966 when Morocco and Algeria were at the brink of war, he flew to the frontlines and remained their for 6 hours until peace was achieved and resulted in the Bamako Accord, so he used aviation for economic development, for unification, for the promotion of peace and for the modernization of the entire continent. 85 years later, the introduction of a modern aviation industry is just as critical, if not more so when the Emperor started this modernization and Unification campaign in 1930. Our intention is to just continue this vision, starting in the ECOWAS and the CEMAC and extending into all of Africa.
Our intent is not to compete with existing carriers, but to supplement their offer by connecting the rural un-served or under-served areas with inexpensive low cost flights for both people and cargo. Since many rural areas have closed or poorly maintained airports, we will enter into PPPs, Private Public Partnerships with governments to renovate, modernize and transform the devastated airports into busting commercial hubs. We will enter into strategic partnerships and our signature architecture will make each airport an enviable and newsworthy structure. Ethiopian Airlines has 82 passenger destinations —19 of them are domestic— and 23 freight destinations. We will surpass this accomplishment in 3 - 5 years. Our motivation is not profit, but profits will result from excellence and is obviously necessary to assure sustainability, continuity and longevity. We will invest in strategic oil refineries, to have control of our jet fuel prices, which represent 30% of the cost of running an airline. The future of life as we know it on Earth is in our hands!
R.I.P.: Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they have been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a challenge. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. IMPOSSIBLEIS NOTHING !