ABEBE ANGESSA OPTS TO REMAIN IN UGANDA TO START HIS OWN BUSINESS AFTER MAKING ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES ENTEBBE’S TOP CARRIER
(Posted 11th July 2019)
The phrase ‘long serving‘ is often used very casually and when taking a closer look does the long often become rather short.
In the case of Abebe Angessa, immediate former Country Manager of Ethiopian Airlines – he retired a few days ago – does the long however fully apply.
Abebe joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1980 already, the start of a long and in retrospect very successful and distinguished career spanning nearly 40 years.
Abebe started at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport in a sales and services position, later transferred to the airline’s town office and eventually was being promoted to cargo sales representative.
Following a fast rising career curve was operational management the next assignment for him, including emergency operations and developing airlift capacity into Ethiopia during the terrible draught years of the 1980’s.
After serving a stint as Director of Marketing for Cargo Services, which saw him cover much of the globe from Africa to Europe and from the Middle East to America was he handed the Ethiopian Airlines CEO Award for Best Performance by an Employee in the year 2000.
Foreign assignments then followed, first in Amsterdam and later, overseeing the move from the Netherlands to Belgium, in Brussels between 2001 and 2006.
After his return home to Ethiopia in the capacity of Director of Ethiopian Airlines’ local services was he then later seconded to the team which crafted the airline’s Agenda 2025.
Abebe then moved abroad again, for what was to become his last posting before his retirement, when he was assigned as Country Manager for Uganda.
In 2012, when he arrived in Uganda, did Ethiopian Airlines fly less than twice a day between Addis Ababa and Entebbe, while today, as he has handed over to his successor Ms. Aziza Mohammed – a separate feature will follow to introduce her to the ATCNews readers – the airline flies six times a day, connecting Uganda, via Addis Ababa, to the world.
One daily flight routes from Addis Ababa via Juba to Entebbe and back, a second from Addis Ababa via Entebbe to Goma and back while four daily flights are nonstop connections between Uganda and Ethiopia with wide body aircraft making regular appearances besides the airline’s short and medium haul workhorse aircraft, the B737-800NG.
ATCNews earlier in the week sat down with Abebe, asking him of what he thought were his major achievements, and he without hesitation rattled down a list this author had a challenge to capture it all:
During his 7 years in Kampala, were 24 university graduates trained by Ethiopian Airlines to work in the aviation industry.
The Association of International Students in Economic and Commercial sciences received regular travel stipends to attend meetings across the continent.
Travel sponsorships and other stipends for women and youth groups and High School Debate Clubs support added further value to local communities.
But Abebe did not stop there and took the opportunity to extend his personal, and his employer’s thanks to many organizations and individuals whom he worked with over the past years.
Notably he did mention the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Ministry of Works and Transport and there in particular the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority but also the various agencies working at the airport.
He paid particular tribute to the staff of Ethiopian Airlines, in both Kampala and at the airport in Entebbe and in closing even thanked ATCNews for their regular positive reporting about Ethiopia and the airline itself, especially following the illfated Boeing B737MAX flight earlier in the year.
In closing he wished his successor the very best, assuring her of his continued support and assistance, whenever required.
And how did he leave his work station behind one needs to ask.
In 2012 the airline recorded 5.000 passengers per month in Uganda, a figure which has since risen to 15.000 a month.
From not even two flights did the airline raise connectivity to six daily services, including fifth freedom right flights from and to Juba and Goma.
Abebe, without naming companies and organizations among his clientele, thanked them for the confidence they had shown and continued to show in Ethiopian Airlines and extended a sincere ‘Webale Nyo‘ to all Ugandans who travel in ever greater numbers with the airline from Entebbe to now 120 destinations in Africa, Europe, North America, the Middle and the Far East.
Now in formal retirement does Abebe presently weigh his next steps to be able to contribute further to Uganda’s tourism industry and also to enhance outbound and inbound trade, as he enters the next stage of his life with many productive years still ahead of him.
Abebe can look back at an exceptionally successful career in the aviation industry and is no doubt the kind of role model the next generation of aviators needs to look up to and from whom many can take a leaf and learn.
ATCNews and yours truly wish Abebe the very best in retirement and whatever he will engage in over the coming months.