Ethiopian Airlines named CAPA Airline of the Year

Ethiopian CEO Tewolde GebreMariam accepted the award from CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison (crediT CAPA)
Ethiopian CEO Tewolde GebreMariam accepted the award from CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison (crediT CAPA)

Ethiopian Airlines, IndiGo and Qantas Airways received the top airline awards at the 2015 CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence, held on 7-Oct-2015 in Helsinki as part of CAPA’s 2015 World Aviation Summit. Athens, Budapest and Vancouver were winners in the airport categories, picking up awards at a gala dinner hosted by Travelport.

Now in its thirteenth year, CAPA’s Aviation Awards for Excellence are intended to reward airlines and airports that are not only successful but have also provided industry leadership in an always changing environment. At a time of industry upheaval, our winners are adopting strategies that offer new directions for others to take up.

Award candidates were independently researched and short-listed by a team analysts at CAPA – Centre for Aviation and partners at Heidrick & Struggles. Winners were then selected by an independent global panel of eight judges.

The judges for the 2015 awards included: Dave Barger, Jon Boyle, Rigas Doganis, Peter Harbison, Andrew Herdman, Barry Humphreys, Mike Szucs and Professor Nawal Taneja. Brendan Sobie from CAPA and Con Korfiatis from Heidrick & Struggles were the co-moderators.

Ethiopian Airlines was named the CAPA Airline of the Year. This award is given to the airline that has been the biggest standout strategically during the year, has had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry, established itself as a leader, and provided a benchmark for others to follow.

Ethiopian was selected by the judging panel for its ability to establish pan-African operations and thrive in an increasingly important emerging market where most airlines have struggled. Ethiopian has been a clear standout and emerged as the leader in Africa with a pioneering strategy.

“Ethiopian has doubled in size since the beginning of the decade while most other major African carriers have grown only slightly or not at all, successfully expanding its hub operation” said Mr Harbison. “It has been consistently profitable over this period while most of its competitors in Africa have struggled financially in recent years.”

CAPA noted that Ethiopian has rapidly expanded its network in Africa, which now consists of a leading 45 destinations. Its position in Africa has been further strengthened by pursuing joint ventures and investments in other African carriers.

Ethiopian has also pursued rapid and successful expansion in Asia, where it now has 11 destinations, positioning Addis Ababa as the leading hub for the growing Asia-Africa market despite intensifying competition for such traffic from the Gulf carriers/hubs. Several new partnerships have been forged including with ANA, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, leveraging Ethiopian’s membership in Star.

Read more at: Centre for Aviation

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