Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ethiopian Airlines was founded on December 30, 1945 with assistance from TWA. It commenced operations with a weekly service between Addis Ababa and Cairo, the initial fleet consisted of five DC-3 propeller-driven aircraft in which passengers sat in the folding canvas seats along the sides of the fuselage.
Although it relied on American pilots and technicians at the beginning, by its 25th anniversary in 1971, Ethiopian Airlines was managed and fully staffed by Ethiopian personnel. It has been described by Paul B. Henze as "one of the most reliable and profitable airlines in the Third World",1 noting that the airline was featured by The Economist as an example of excellence. 2
In 2002, the airline carried 1,054,687 passengers
Domestic service connects the following Ethiopian cities:
- Addis Ababa (Bole International Airport)
- Arba Minch
- Bahir Dar
- Debre Markos
- Debre Tabor
- Dire Dawa (Dire Dawa International Airport )
- Jinka (Baco )
- Kabri Dar
- Mizan Tefere
Internationally, Ethiopian Airlines flights from Bole International Airport and Dire Dawa International Airport connect Ethiopia with cities throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America:
- Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Bamako, Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Cairo, Dar Es-Salaam, Djibouti, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Hargeisa, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Kinshasa, Lagos, Lilongwe, Lome, Luanda, Lusaka, Nairobi, N'djamena
- Middle East & Asia:
- Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Hong Kong, Dubai, Guangzhou, Jeddah, Mumbai, New Delhi, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv
- Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Rome and Stockholm
- United States:
The Ethiopian Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (at March 2005):
- 1 Boeing 737-200
- 4 Boeing 737-700 (further 1 on order)
- 5 Boeing 757-200
- 1 Boeing 767-200
- 5 Boeing 767-300 (further 1 on order)
Five Fokker 50s and three DHC Twin Otters fly the domestic routes. Ethiopian Cargo, the airline's cargo division, operates a single 757-200PF and two Lockheed L-100 freighters. ET Cargo also leases additional aircraft based on traffic requirements. Three of the current four passenger 757-200s are expected to be converted to freighter configuration over the coming years.
Ethiopian Airlines announced preliminary agreement to buy up to 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft (5 firm orders and 5 options), with the first aircarft scheduled for delivery in 2008 (ref: Airliner World, April 2005).
Incidents and Accidents
Since 1970, there have been two fatal events involving Ethiopian Airlines aircraft.
On 15 September, 1988 an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 taking off from Bahar Dar, Ethiopia ingested numerous pigeons into both engines. One engine lost thrust almost immediately and the second lost thrust during the emergency return to the airport. As a result of the crash landing, 31 of the 105 passengers were killed.
On 23 November, 1996, three hijackers commandeered a Boeing 767 on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961. The flight was on its first leg, on a Addis Ababa,Ethiopia-Nairobi-Kenya,Brazzaville,Republic of the Congo-Lagos,Nigeria-Abidjan,Côte d'Ivoire route. The hijackers were instructing the pilot to fly to Australia. Flying south along the African coast, fuel reserves ran out and one of the plane's engines stopped. While attempting a landing near Moroni in the Comoros Islands the aircraft ran completely out of fuel and ditched into waters 500m from shore. 123 of the 175 passengers and crew aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 died. All of the hijackers are presumed dead.
- Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia, (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 246.
- "In Search of Excellence, the Hard Way", The Economist, 31 December 1987.
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