Who is the airline executive or the year?
This award is presented to the airline executive who has had the greatest individual influence on the aviation industry, demonstrating outstanding strategic thinking and innovative direction for the growth of their business and the industry.
Airline executives across the globe could learn a lot from Tewolde GebreMariam who has helped deliver sustained profitability for Ethiopian Airlines. He became group CEO in January 2011, but before that had held various several senior leadership positions in different divisions in the airline including Ethiopian Cargo, area offices and sales and marketing. In fact, he has now completed almost 35 years’ service having started as a transportation agent back in 1985.
Under his stewardship, Ethiopian Airlines has stood out from the crowd in Africa and is now attempting to build on the continent’s potential as it expands in partnership with other African countries to build much needed intra-African connectivity.
This year has been a tough one for all involved with the airline following the crash in March 2019 of ‘ET302’, with the loss of all 157 passengers and crew onboard, an event that subsequently lead to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX airliner.
CAPA Chairman Emeritus Peter Harbison said: “Tewolde GebreMariam has become a giant in African aviation over the past decades. He has guided a marginal airline into becoming a major global force, with a modern fleet and a world class operation. This past year he has been most strenuously challenged following the MAX accident, and emerges with an even stronger reputation. We are proud to present him with this award and look forward to him continuing to lead the airline to even greater heights.”
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said: “I am honoured to have received the award and I sincerely thank CAPA for the recognition. We at Ethiopian have achieved greater milestones as one family. I want to dedicate this award to my colleagues: more than 16,000 brave men and women around the world who always challenge themselves to soar higher with the mind-set that every step they take can become new history and milestone in today’s 21st century aviation business.”