Ethiopian Air Lines (Ethiopian) has committed to the purchase of 41 new aircraft, nearly doubling their fleet and introducing three new, state-of-the-art types (the A350-900 and the 787-8, and the DA40NG) into a fleet currently consisting of seven models. In a logistically complex industry, this represents a substantial increase in resource commitments and management responsibility in many areas including maintenance, pilot training, facilities, and route planning. The purpose of this paper is to examine this growth strategy, its underlying assumptions, and its sustainability given long-range industry trends in both the developed and the developing world. Using corporate and industry data, we will construct a set of economic and operational models of corporate growth and fleet complexity, and benchmark these models against other airlines, in North America, Africa, and China. We will also examine some of the socio-technical issues identified by aircraft manufacturers and political issues from the perspective of national governments in rapid growth of airlines in developing nations. These issues include human resource requirements and management models appropriate to a technological periphery. We anticipate that these comparisons will yield useful insights to other airlines in developing nations that are planning their expansion into wider markets.
Asefa, Sisay; Batteau, Allen; Whittaker, Lisa; and Jing, Hung-Sying
"Sustainability of Expansion in an African Airline: A Case Study,"
International Journal of African Development: Vol. 1
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/ijad/vol1/iss1/6