Daily Archives: March 9, 2016

Ethiopian Airlines Profit Rises 12 Percent In 2014-15

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise, Africa’s largest carrier by revenue, increased its profit by 12 percent to 3.53 billion Ethiopia birr [$165.4 million] in 2014-15 despite declining air traffic on the continent.

The fiscal crisis in African oil producers due to the falling crude price, the effects of the Ebola crisis on travel and instability in Africa and the Middle East weighed the industry down, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam said.

“The year was characterized by a challenging operating environment,” he said in the company’s annual report.

Ethiopian Airlines was able to keep growing by managing its spending and selling services including catering, ground handling and aircraft maintenance to other airlines helped maintain profitability, he said. The group, which also operates Togo’s ASKY Airlines and Malawian Airlines, is aiming for $10 billion revenue in about a decade.

Operating revenue increased 6 percent from a year earlier to 49.5 billion birr in the fiscal year that ended July 7, the company said. The state-owned company ordered 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s worth more than $2.1 billion, and has the option to purchase 15 more, it said.

The carrier said it has “long-term loans” of 47.3 billion birr. The Ethiopian government has exempted the airlines from paying income tax.

Safe And Seamless Travel, Technology And Sustainability: Priorities For Tourism

Ensuring safe and seamless travel, enhancing the opportunities brought by technology and accelerating the shift towards a more sustainable sector are the priorities for the sector said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, opening the 50th edition of ITB Berlin.

Referring to the issue of tourism and security, he said: “Global challenges demand global solutions and tourism development greatly depends upon our collective capacity to promote safe, secure and seamless travel. We need to cooperate, not isolate”.

Mr. Rifai called for the full integration of tourism into the national and international security agendas and alerted that “the security challenges we face today should not prompt us to build new walls” and that “enhancing security and enabling more seamless travel should always go hand-in-hand”.
On the issue of technology and innovation, the UNWTO Secretary-General said: “We need to better understand the impact of technology on our sector and maximize the new opportunities it creates to improve the competitiveness of destinations, make travel safer and easier, and manage our natural resources more effectively.”

Calling upon the tourism sector to embrace the sustainability agenda, Mr Rifai said it was time to “step up the efforts to advance policies and business strategies that ensure the contribution of the tourism sector to the Sustainable Development Goals”.

“Climate change mitigation, effective resource management, poverty reduction and inclusive growth need to be at the center of tourism development. We must make it clear that economic growth and sustainability are not at odds”, he added.

Addressing these priorities can only be achieved through increased international cooperation and cross-cutting national tourism policies. “Tourism´s ability to effectively support the economic, social and environmental foundations of many nations has raised the need for the sector to play a bigger role in national development, particularly at the highest levels of political decision-making“, Mr Rifai said.

Mr Rifai recalled that despite a slow and uneven global economic recovery, growing geopolitical challenges, health scares and security concerns, 2015 was another record year for international tourism.

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% to reach 1.2 billion [1.184 million], meaning 50 million more tourists travelled the world in 2015 than in 2014.

“Looking ahead, UNWTO is confident that despite increased volatility and uncertainty, 2016 will bring another year of growth to our sector, with an estimated increase of 4%”, he said.