Our strength lies in our financial discipline — Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO

THE success so far recorded by Ethiopian Airways may not be far from the strict economic discipline by the different managements that had and still handling the airlines.

This became obvious during an interactive session some the media had with the present Group Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Mr Ato Messfin Tasew at the MRO Africa 2024 conference organsed by the CEO of African Aviation Services (AAS), Mr Nick Fadugba in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Speaking at the conference with the theme: “Strengthening Africa’s MRO and Training Capacity for the Future”, the Ethiopian airlines’ boss corroborated the difficulties African airlines face in meeting up with the supply chain with regards to spares and other components  for maintenance.

On the financial discipline of the airline, the CEO remarked: “In history even when most airlines were in that situation we continued and we never downsized. The financial institutions are convinced and that is why they still give us the funds to finance our operations.

“I am telling you this boldly because unlike others we manage our financial resources as best as we can. When we borrow we make sure that money is invested in a sound investment. Secondly we always control our costs and that gives us some confidence because we are careful. Our first priority is to settle our debtors instead of investing more. These are very important.”

He spoke on the high cost of operation on the continent with reference to the Nigeria airlines where due to high taxes they can’t buy spare parts.

“It’s very clear. Today I have to admit that there are some shortage on all equipment. We have some local manufacturers and now we want to apply to work with them and get solutions and improve their output.  The oil for repair is hard to find. If it finishes we can’t get it and because of that, the price has skyrocketed. They like to take advantage of what is going on in the market. The prices have increased so that supply is not enough. We use the cheapest globally so it is a problem.

“If we briefly look at airline landscaping, we have airlines that are still covered by it. The efficacy behind the rights is there is no conducive environment for the airlines to flourish. That is the biggest problem. What I mean is that the cost of operation is very high. There are also taxes to pay. There is very low level of infrastructure. They can’t buy spare parts and that is one of the issues faced by Nigerian airlines.  There are several reasons. Business environment is not conducive.  It’s very hard to be there. It’s a good opportunity for airlines to expand. They have to wait and the fuel price has been on the rise.

“The second issue is the issue of storage. They need storages to succeed. I don’t see that at all. It means they need disciplined leadership and they have to have a strong strategy and in general great leadership among African airlines. I don’t have all of them. We have to address these. When it comes to the industry there is always something. We need to have outlines.”

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Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/717718529/AYPBn2w2nBSqO2ay?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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