In an exclusive interview with ENA, Group CEO Tewolde said following relevant researches in two cities, Hawassa and Mekelle, are selected for the new pilots training academies.
Ethiopian Airlines currently graduates 200 pilots per annum, he said, and added that upon fully operation of the two new pilots training academies, the group’s graduates will reach 400.
“We are buying additional 60 airplanes, so we need more pilots; there is a global shortage of pilots so we are preparing ourselves to make sure that our growth is not hampered by shortage of pilots,” Tewolde elaborated.
So far Ethiopian Airlines, as part of its wide range expansion, has invested about 100 million USD for the Aviation Academy, it was learned.
According to the CEO, the construction cost of the Hawassa and Mekelle pilots training academies is about 150 million birr.
Ethiopian Airlines, which has created 30,000 jobs up to date and earns 200 million USD foreign currency every year, has been registering 20-30 percent of average annual growth over the past couple of years.
The new terminal that will be completed at the end of this year, expanding the ramp which currently parks 53 airplanes at a time and building new runway are among the ongoing expansions, he added.
Speaking of the recent decision on selling minor share of the Ethiopian Airlines, the Group CEO said that it is not only selling shares, but it is more of global cooperation and collaboration.
He emphasized that “Ethiopia is entering a new chapter in the global competition, so we are preparing ourselves as a nation.”
“We have been buying shares on other African airlines so we will continue to buy shares and we will also allow other countries to buy shares on Ethiopian airlines so that it will enable us to expand our capital base for more investment in fleet and infrastructure,” Tewolde explained.
The new aerospace manufacturing business, the under construction five star hotel, and the logistics business which DHL is working in partnership are some of the areas that Ethiopian is looking to work in partnership, according to the CEO.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Airlines, which is the largest aviation group in Africa, has received its 100 aircraft Boeing 787 dreamliner this week.
Ethiopian flies to about 210 international destinations across five continents.