Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: High Flyers - Ethiopian Airlines to Reward Staff With Pay Rise

Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) has promised to increase salaries and provide a housing allowance to its employees, as of January 1, 2014. The increment and housing allowance will apply to all of its employees, it was disclosed during a meeting at the premises of the Company's headquarters, located next toBoleInternationalAirport, on January 1, 2014.

The salary increase, according to employees, ranges from 10 to 20pc. The variation is based on the salary scales of the employees, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian, disclosed at the meeting, which went on for half a day.

Those earning low salaries will get the highest percentage increment. The reverse is true for those earning high salaries. Employees approached by Fortune say they are eagerly awaiting the promotional letter.

Officials from Ethiopian declined to comment, saying it is an internal administration issue. The officials did not, however, deny that the offer had been made to employees. Founded in December 1945, Ethiopian started operating on April 8, 1946. The first scheduled flight was made toCairoviaAsmara, the capital ofEritrea, in a Douglas C-47 Sky train.

The national airline had been set up a few months earlier as Ethiopian Air Lines Inc - a joint venture with the American airline, TWA (Trans World Airlines). The National Airline Training Project was set up, in 1957, in Addis Abeba, with help from the US Government, to train local pilots, technicians and supervisory personnel.

By December 1962, the new runway and control tower at the Bole International Airport were fully operational. The Company changed its legal status from a corporation to a share company in 1965. At the same time, the name was changed from Ethiopian Air Lines to Ethiopian Airlines.

Defying global oil prices, Ethiopian announced a net profit of 107 million dollars during the 2012/13 financial year. This is a 178pc increase compared to the last financial year's performance, 2011/2012, which stood at 39 million dollars. During the period, the cost of jet fuel accounted for half of Company's total expenses.

During the 2012/13 fiscal year, Ethiopian flew 5.5 million passengers and 174,000tns of cargo with 190 daily flights and 1,330 weekly flights.

Ethiopian joined Star Alliance on December 13, 2011, registering as the Alliance's third carrier based on the African continent. Star Alliance was established in 1997 to provide customers with a worldwide reach using member airlines, according to its website.

The Alliance has 28 member airlines with 4,701 aircraft, carrying over 700 million passengers a year.

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