Greetings Your Excellencies and Honourable Members of The Canadian Government.
It is my honour to dine with each of you this evening. In particular I recognise Honourable MP Rob Oliphant. Though he is not here with us tonight, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, his tireless work on Canada’s new Africa strategy is exciting, and set to yield in a new era in Canada-Africa relations.
I know I have the wonderful chance to address you each at the upcoming reception in October, as well as at Africa Accelerating - where I am pleased to close day 1 of the program which Prime Minister Trudeau will open. So my remarks this evening will be brief.
Thank you to Gowlings for hosting this incredible dinner and inviting me to offer these keynote remarks. Thank you to the Chamber President and Ambassador Paula Caldwell St-Onge, the Vice-chair of the Board and former Director General for Africa in Canada.
As Ethiopian Airlines, we are proud to deliver on Canada's stated public policy commitments made at Africa Accelerating last year – all to deepen ties with the African continent, as outlined in the Prime Minister’s address last year to the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business.
Through the open market, excellence and delivery to millions of customers, we are committed to being the vital linkage between Canada and African markets. Not just the enabler of deeper trade and investment, but the driver of it.
We are proud to support the chamber as its sole airline partner and sponsor.
Ethiopian Airlines is leading the agenda to enable trade and investment, connecting Canada directly to the African continent, and onward to over 120 destinations from the dynamic African Union capital of Addis Ababa.
We're ready to deliver on the unique Francophone and Anglophone advantage enjoyed by this major G7 country.
In addition to our Toronto flights, which have for so long served as the only direct route onto the continent and onward to 120 destinations – our proposed Francophone service and focus includes serving Montreal, which is a vital part of our strategic plan and growth. The Montreal service will no doubt deepen the important diplomatic ties that are the focus of Canada's engagement with Africa, given the proximity of Montreal to the national capital of Ottawa.
With code sharing, as we do with Air Canada, we ensure connectivity spanning the length and breadth of Canada. The enormous revenue and profit enjoyed by Ethiopian Airlines as reported widely in the press is no accident, but certainly is a reflection of success that is as ‘stunning as it is 100% African. We believe we represent the Africa that is the reality, not the exception to the norm.
Ethiopian Airlines' revenue has just surged 79% as profit hit $937 million. I am proud to report during the past year we posted $5 billion in revenue this financial year, a 79% growth compared to last year. Profit grew by 90%, reaching $937 million, despite the headwinds of the worsening global economic outlook, rising fuel cost, global pandemic.
Where is the money going? We are pleased to reinvest those funds to accelerate development for all, and it is my job to ensure that that very commitment stands to the benefit of ever deeper accelerated Canada-Africa trade and investment.
To everyone here, we are your partner and at your service for the people of Canada and each of the incredible countries represented this evening. We are proud to serve each market that is an indispensable part of Canada-Africa trade and investment.
Therefore I'm proud to thank each of you and to declare my unwavering commitment to Canada Africa trade and investment through Ethiopian Airlines. To ensure that connectivity remains at the heart of enabling the next period of trade and investment between our two incredible centres of the world.
I look forward to great conversation over the next few hours.
Have a wonderful evening ladies and gentleman. I thank you