AFRICA: Ethiopian tops AFRAA cargo carriers

Ethiopian Airlines has come out on top in terms of cargo volume carried among the 32 members of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). The Addis Ababa carrier uplifted the lion’s share of the 44,000 tonnes of freight cargo moved by its members last year, with the carrier shipping 87 per cent of the total, or […]


Ethiopian Airlines has come out on top in terms of cargo volume carried among the 32 members of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). The Addis Ababa carrier uplifted the lion’s share of the 44,000 tonnes of freight cargo moved by its members last year, with the carrier shipping 87 per cent of the total, or 38,280 tonnes in 2009. Outgoing Ethiopian CEO, Girma Wake, told Ethiopia’s The Reporter that the surge in the amount of cargo the airline is uplifting has prompted the carrier to explore the possible acquisition of B777 freighter aircraft. He said talks were already underway with Boeing on the possible acquisition, adding that leasing from Boeing Capital or other leasing companies is also being considered. Currently, Ethiopian operates a maindeck fleet of two B757-260F, two MD11 and two B747. The bulk of cargo in and out of Africa is carried on some twenty two airlines, amounting to nearly 560,000 tonnes in 2009 – a slight increase of about 3 per cent from 2008, according to an AFRAA report for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Nearly three quarters of this total amount is carried by four main operators: Kenya Airways, EgyptAir, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian, which became the first African carrier to order and operate the ultra-long-range 777-200LR model, is to take delivery of four additional 777-200LRs in the coming months. Ethiopian has also invested heavily in cargo handling facilities, particularly at Bole International Airport.