The Ethiopian CEO who rescued Air Nigeria

Kinfe Kahsay, the chief executive officer of Air Nigeria, has a 24-year hands-on experience in the African aviation industry. Before his secondment in October 2009 from Ethiopian Airlines as chief operating officer to the then Virgin Nigeria (now Air Nigeria), he was the executive vice president, strategic business units of Ethiopian Airlines.

During 1999 to 2009, Kinfe had been part of the core executive team that envisioned and led the turn-around and transformation of Ethiopian Airlines to become the most profitable and one of the fastest growing airlines in Africa.

During the last 19 months, Kinfe has been at the helm of Air Nigeria, steering the successful turn-around of the airline from the brink of liquidation and deep operating loss to profitability.

He obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Addis Ababa University, a master of technology (MTECH) in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (ITT), Mumbai, as well as a master of business administration (MBA) from Open University (UK).

Kinfe is married and is a father of five children.

Kaleyesus Bekele of the Ethiopian Reporter newspaper met Kinfe at the 43rd African Airlines Association’s annual general assembly held from November 20-22 in Marrakech, Morocco, and talked to him about the turn-around program Air Nigeria is implementing. Read Full Interview on the Ethiopian Reporter.