DECADE OF AIRLINE EXCELLENCE AWARDS NAMES ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES AS LEADING AFRICAN CARRIER AS AIRLINE COMPLETES COLD CHAIN SET UP FOR GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF CORONA VACCINES
(Posted 03rd December 2020)
Ethiopian Airlines has been recognised by the judges in the Decade of Airline Excellence Awards as Africa’s best-performing airline of the past 10 years.
The carrier took the accolade in the African regional category of the Awards.
The full roster of awards, organised by FlightGlobal in association with Airline Business and Korn Ferry, are being announced over the 1-3 December period.
Operating in an incredibly challenging region for airlines, state-owned Ethiopian evolved over the decades from a national carrier to the first true pan-African airline, based on a strategy that leveraged its hub in Addis Ababa and strategic equity investments in smaller national African operators.
“Under the leadership of Tewolde Gebremariam since 2011 – the year in which the carrier also joined the Star Alliance – Ethiopian’s core strategy has been underpinned by disciplined management and a productive relationship with its government owners,” said Lewis Harper, Managing Editor of Airline Business magazine. Ethiopian Airlines dominated the discussion among judges when it came to the Africa award. “I think they are the outstanding airline in Africa by far,” one judge said, reflecting wider sentiment among the panel.
“I particularly like Ethiopian’s involvement in economic development in the country,” said a judge.
‘Their revenues have soared in what has been a particularly challenging market,” another judge remarked.
By the end of the decade, the airline commanded the lion’s share of the pan-African network, having overtaken Dubai as the biggest transfer hub for long-haul travel to Africa in 2018. The airline’s maturity shone through in its response, cementing its status as a rare example of an African carrier that sits comfortably alongside the world’s top airlines.
The winning airlines from each global region, in addition to the overall winner, are being announced over the 1-3 December period.
In addition to the winner from Africa, these include the winning airlines from North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Full details of all winners will be available at: www.flightglobal.com
About the Decade of Airline Excellence Awards
The Decade of Airline Excellence Awards was launched by FlightGlobal, Airline Business and the civil aviation practice of Korn Ferry, the largest human-capital solutions provider in the world, this year, in lieu of the Airline Strategy Awards, which will return in 2021.
Winners are selected by an independent panel of industry experts. With the industry facing so much near-term turmoil, the awards partners decided to take the opportunity to celebrate the best airline stories from the 2010-2019 decade prior to the current crisis – the most financially successful one in airline history, which brought air travel to new markets and catapulted issues such as sustainability to the forefront of strategic thinking.
This one-off event celebrates compelling achievements since the financial crisis, recognising airlines and airline groups that had a lasting, positive effect on the industry within the 2010-2019 timeframe.
Key sponsors of the awards are Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, Embraer, Shannon Engine Support, Cirium and Eways Aviation.
Meanwhile has Ethiopian Airlines in conjunction with the Alibaba Group’s Cainiao company put all required logistics and infrastructure into place to be ready for the global coldchain distribution of Corona vaccines, which are shortly expected to hit the market.
Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arms of Alibaba Group Holdings Limited, confirmed its partnership with Ethiopian Airlines to launch a special cold chain air freight for the transportation of temperature-controlled medicines from Shenzhen Airport, China’s first medical cross-border cold chain facility. Temperature-controlled medicines will be distributed twice a week from Shenzhen to Africa, and to the rest of the world via Dubai and Addis Ababa. This is China’s first cross-border medical cold chain route to be operated regularly and is certified to transport temperature-controlled medicines including COVID-19 vaccines. The end-to-end transportation process requires a highly effective cold chain management. During air freight, the entire cold chain cabin is equipped with a temperature control system that monitors the cabin’s temperature in real-time.
As the fourth airport in Mainland China that obtained International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics, Shenzhen Airport is also well-equipped to handle biotechnology products.
The new cargo terminal in Ethiopia, the largest in Africa, is outfitted with compartmentalized cold storage facilities with temperature between -23℃ to 25℃.
It occupies an area of 54,000 square metres, with dedicated cool dollies and pharma team, as well as real-time temperature monitoring system to ensure a safe and seamless cold chain logistics for handling temperature sensitive healthcare products. “Cainiao’s global logistics network spans over 200 countries and regions, providing end-to-end integrated logistics services, including digital customs clearance capabilities,” said James Zhao, General Manager of Cainiao International Supply Chain. “The launch of the cold chain air freight has further bolstered our global logistics capabilities, and allow us to offer a one-stop solution for the global distribution of medical products such as the Covid-19 vaccines.”
Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group CEO said “Ethiopian Airlines will repeat its remarkable and globally recognized success in leading the fast delivery of PPEs few months ago with similar delivery speed, professional handling and maintaining the cold chain during the forthcoming global distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. In anticipation of the Covid-19 vaccine release, we will be at the forefront to further discharge our responsibility in the distribution of the vaccine across the globe.”
Cainiao’s launch of the “Green Channel” Initiative this year to fight the pandemic has helped in the distribution of 250 million pieces of PPEs, including Covid-19 test kits, to medical suppliers in over 150 countries and regions. In collaboration with its partners, Cainiao has also helped to transport medical relief items for international organizations during the pandemic outbreak.