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Ethiopian Airlines History

Ethiopian Airlines, with the IATA code ET, is the flag carrier of Ethiopia and one of the oldest airlines in Africa. Established on December 21, 1945, the airline has a rich history that spans over seven decades.

Initially, Ethiopian Airlines started as a joint venture between the Ethiopian government and Trans World Airlines (TWA), with the aim of modernizing the country's aviation industry. The first flight took place on April 8, 1946, with a Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft flying from Addis Ababa to Cairo, Egypt.

Over the years, Ethiopian Airlines expanded its route network and fleet, becoming a key player in the African aviation market. In the 1950s, the airline introduced jet aircraft, including the Comet 4 and the Boeing 720. This allowed Ethiopian Airlines to offer faster and more comfortable flights to its passengers.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of Ethiopian airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your ET Ethiopian flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on Ethiopian Airlines’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances Ethiopian has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out ET’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on Ethiopian Airlines, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of Ethiopian 's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for Ethiopian , if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

In the 1960s, Ethiopian Airlines made significant advancements, becoming the first African carrier to operate the Boeing 707 jetliner. This milestone marked the airline's commitment to technological progress and its ambition to provide world-class service to its customers.

Throughout the following decades, Ethiopian Airlines continued to expand its operations globally. The airline established partnerships with other carriers, enabling it to offer an extensive network of destinations. It also modernized its fleet, introducing newer aircraft models such as the Boeing 767 and the Boeing 777.

In recent years, Ethiopian Airlines has achieved remarkable growth and recognition in the aviation industry. The airline has been consistently profitable and has won numerous awards for its excellence in service and safety. It has also become a leading African carrier in terms of passenger and cargo traffic.

Today, Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to over 125 destinations worldwide, connecting Africa to the rest of the world. With its modern fleet of aircraft and a strong commitment to customer satisfaction, the airline continues to play a vital role in promoting tourism, trade, and economic development in Ethiopia and beyond.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive Ethiopian Airlines Guide.

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