Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam was delighted to meet with The President of the United States Barack Obama on his recent visit to Ethiopia. The President expressed his appreciation for the long-standing relationship between Ethiopia’s national carrier and the Boeing Company. President Obama also acknowledged he had the pleasure of visiting the Seattle production facility to see the 787 Dreamliner assembly line and there was a model showing Ethiopian colours. During the President’s visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital and the airline’s HQ, Mr Gebremariam showed the President the B787 and advised him the airline is now flying 13 Dreamliners, with a further eight on option. The aircraft is proving very popular with our passengers, he advised. Passengers are less fatigued when they disembark after a long haul flight. It is the quietest aircraft in its class; delivers a 20% saving in fuel burn and is the most economically friendly aircraft. Ethiopian’s latest B787 has just been named after the USA’s late Colonel John C Robinson, an American aviator, famous in Ethiopia for the role he played in preserving the country’s freedom and independence.
President Obama asked Mr Gebremariam about the airline’s most profitable routes. He cited a number including Washington DC, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Luanda in Angola. Ethiopian bolstered its route network to 61 destinations this summer, he said, new additions being Dublin and Los Angeles to Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian CEO also expressed his wish to see the US Exim Bank re-opened as it is the guarantor of the loans that Ethiopian arranges to finance Boeing aircraft. President Obama concluded his visit by congratulating Tewolde Gebremariam for his successful leadership running the largest and most profitable airline in Africa.
During his visit to Africa in July President Obama spoke of how proud he was to be American, but equally proud to be the son of an African. Africa and its people helped shape America and allowed it to become the great nation it is today. President Obama became the first American leader to visit Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation.