The Magazine of Ethiopian Airlines
Feature

The Story of an Airline

Images that together reflect the 70 years since Ethiopian first took flight in 1946.

Inside the cockpit of the airline’s third Boeing 720-B, at the end of its September 1965 delivery flight with an all-Ethiopian crew (left to right): Captain Alemayehu Abebe, Captain Desta Haile (First Officer) and Second Officer Hapte Tesfamichael.
Ethiopian quickly established itself as an airline that greatly prioritized its passengers’ comforts — including those of Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila, who flew the airline from Rome to Addis Ababa following his victory in the 1960 Olympic Marathon.
Following Captain Alemayehu Abebe’s appointment as the first Ethiopian commercial aircraft commander in 1957, the airline began a swift push toward full Ethiopianization — from flight-deck and cabin crew all the way through to maintenance and repair staff.
In Ethiopian’s first three decades of service, the airline grew both its regional cargo and passenger networks while also greatly extending itself internationally — from establishing overseas offices in cities such as Aden, Yemen to flying to Beijing, China in 1973.