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Ethiopian Airlines Retains Position as Best Aircraft Maintenance Facility in Africa

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The aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility owned by Ethiopian Airlines has been adjudged the best in Africa.

The facility enjoys the approval of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), most Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) of many countries in the world and also the certification of top aircraft manufacturing companies, including Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier.

This was disclosed by the acting General Manager, MRO Sales and Marketing, Mr. Henok Haile who said besides maintaining most of its 127 fleet, the facility conducts checks for airlines from many other countries up to D-check.

It has the certification to maintain most Boeing aircraft types, including Boeing 737 classics and Next Generation fleet, Boeing B767, 757, 777 and others. It also conducts checks on Bombardier Dash 8 and also advancing in maintaining Airbus aircraft types.

“We conduct checks on almost all aircraft in our fleet and we have B777 and A350 aircraft. We also have B737 and B787 hangar. We also have a paint hangar. We paint aircraft here, as you can see, there is an Arikaircraft that is being painted currently.

“We have capability of repairing airframe, engine and components of the aircraft. We repair Bombardier Q400, Boeing 777, 787, A350, We have base maintenance and line maintenance capability. For the engine, we have engine used for B787 and B737, we have an overall capability for these aircraft. We also have an overall capability for Q400. We have an overall capability for GTCP 131 and 331. On the component side, we have more than 200 components.

We have a repair and overall capacity in our MRO. Our MRO is approved by IATA, and our local civil aviation. We have approval from different Africa regulatory body, Middle East, Europe and America. We can perform any maintenance on our facility. We perform maintenance for Arik Air. We have the capability.”

He said that Ethiopian MRO conducts checks on third party aircraft; that is, the ones owned by other airlines from different parts of the world.

“We have a lot. As you can see in that hangar, we are maintaining the B777 aircraft of Saudi, we have an Arik. We have a lot of aircraft from other countries that are maintained in our facility. We currently have Tag Angola aircraft and Cameroon’s national carrier aircraft. Camair-Co in our hangar. We also performed a C-check on the aircraft.”

“We have Nigerian airlines bringing their aircraft for maintenance in our facility. We had maintained Medviewaircraft. We are still receiving orders and in the process to maintain more airlines from Nigeria and other countries. So we are working.”

On the impact of COVID-19 on Ethiopian MRO operations, Haile said it affected all the business sectors, noting that most customers are unable to come to the MRO facility because of the lockdown in various countries.

“We were working through the situation. We had aircraft in the hangar for maintenance before the lockdown. We did not face any delays. We have creative management systems. So, what we did was that we received aircraft, maintained it and sent it back by using different mechanism but the pandemic affected our business. We are the first choice for maintenance of African airlines. We are Africans, we have to grow one another and support each other. Ethiopian Airlines is the pride of Africa. So every African carrier should come to Ethiopia,” he said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Real Madrid Breaks Financial Records, Posts €1 Billion Revenue Amid Stadium Overhaul

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Real Madrid has announced record-breaking revenue exceeding €1 billion for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

The club’s latest financial report reveals a €1.073 billion ($1.16 billion) in revenue, a substantial 27% increase from the previous year.

This impressive growth comes despite the ongoing overhaul of the Santiago Bernabéu, which has temporarily limited its full operational capacity.

The revenue surge highlights the club’s ability to generate substantial income through various channels, including marketing and stadium operations.

Real Madrid’s success is not confined to the pitch; it has achieved significant commercial milestones.

The 2023/24 season saw the club secure its sixth UEFA Champions League title in a decade, alongside domestic triumphs in La Liga and the Super Cup.

Also, Real Madrid’s basketball team also enjoyed a stellar season, clinching the Spanish league title, King’s Cup, and Spanish Super Cup, while reaching the Euroleague finals.

Despite a decline in broadcasting revenues from La Liga, the club’s financial performance has been buoyed by increased marketing and sponsorship deals.

Notably, Real Madrid secured a new shirt sleeve sponsorship with HP, contributing to a substantial rise in marketing revenues.

The club’s EBITDA soared to €144 million ($156 million), a 71% increase from the previous year, reflecting its robust financial health and operational efficiency.

The ongoing renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, with a total investment of €1.163 billion ($1.262 billion), is set to further enhance the club’s revenue streams.

The final phase of the renovation, including VIP areas and event spaces, is expected to be completed by the 2024/25 financial year.

This development will likely drive additional revenue growth, reinforcing Real Madrid’s financial strength.

The club’s net worth stands at €574 million ($623 million), with a modest net debt of just €8 million ($8.6 million) as of June 30, 2024.

The financial results highlight Real Madrid’s resilience and strategic acumen, particularly in managing significant investments and leveraging commercial opportunities.

“Achieving over €1 billion in revenue is a groundbreaking accomplishment for Real Madrid,” said a club spokesperson.

“Despite the challenges posed by the stadium renovation, we have successfully driven growth through innovative marketing strategies and commercial partnerships. Our focus remains on building a stronger future both on and off the field.”

As the club prepares for the 2024/25 season, the anticipated arrival of Kylian Mbappé on a free transfer is expected to further boost commercial prospects and enhance the club’s marketability.

The combination of sporting success, strategic investments, and a renovated stadium positions Real Madrid for continued financial and on-field success.

Real Madrid’s achievement reflects broader trends in football finance, where top clubs are increasingly leveraging commercial opportunities to achieve unprecedented revenue milestones.

The club’s performance sets a new benchmark for financial success in the sport and underscores its enduring global appeal.

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Singapore Tops Passport Power Rankings, Overtakes European Rivals

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Singapore has reclaimed its position as the holder of the world’s most powerful passport, surpassing European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

According to the Henley Passport Index, Singaporean citizens can now enjoy visa-free access to 195 destinations globally, placing the city-state at the top of the rankings.

The Henley Passport Index, which uses data from the International Air Transport Association, evaluates 199 passports and their access to 227 destinations.

The latest update sees Singapore leapfrogging previous leaders, with the European quartet and Japan now sharing second place.

In third place are Austria, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden, whose passport holders have visa-free access to 191 destinations.

This is the first time seven nations have occupied this spot together.

Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, emphasized the significance of passport strength in today’s globalized world.

“The ability to travel visa-free is more than convenience; it’s a powerful economic tool driving growth, fostering international cooperation, and attracting foreign investment.”

While Singapore rises, the United States continues its decline, now ranking eighth, a drop from its former position at the top alongside the UK a decade ago. The UK, meanwhile, has slipped to fourth place.

At the bottom of the list, Afghanistan remains the weakest passport, offering visa-free entry to just 26 destinations.

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Airline Stocks Tumble as Ryanair Cuts Summer Fare Forecast

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Ryanair’s announcement of a significant cut in summer fare expectations has sent ripples through the airline industry, causing stocks to fall sharply.

The no-frills airline reported a nearly 50% drop in profits for the quarter ending June 30, attributing the decline to lower passenger fares and frugal consumer behavior.

Ryanair’s profit before tax fell to €401 million, a stark contrast to the same period last year. This slump is primarily due to a 15% decrease in average passenger fares, as travelers continue to tighten their budgets amid ongoing economic uncertainties.

Chief Executive Michael O’Leary highlighted the shift in consumer behavior, noting that “fares are now moving materially lower than the prior year and pricing continues to deteriorate.”

The company’s previous forecast of stable fares has been revised, with expectations now set for a “materially lower” fare structure between July and September.

The announcement triggered a sell-off in airline stocks, with Ryanair’s share price plummeting by 17%.

Other airlines, including EasyJet and Wizz Air, also experienced declines, reflecting broader concerns about the industry’s financial health as customer spending contracts.

Experts are questioning whether the entire sector is facing a downturn, especially as consumers delay booking trips and opt for more budget-friendly options.

Despite the profit drop, Ryanair reported a slight increase in passenger numbers, which helped mitigate a more significant fall in overall revenue.

However, the airline emphasized that its summer performance heavily relies on last-minute bookings, particularly in August and September.

The trend of delayed bookings is partly due to the cost-of-living crisis, which continues to influence consumer spending habits.

This trend aligns with observations from other airlines like Jet2, which noted only modest price increases amid late bookings.

Ryanair’s struggles are compounded by external challenges such as air traffic control strikes and a global IT meltdown, which have led to delays and cancellations.

These issues have further dampened consumer confidence, potentially impacting last-minute booking numbers.

Moreover, Ryanair faces operational hurdles with aircraft deliveries. Boeing has warned that some 737 Max planes expected by next spring will be delayed until summer 2025, posing a threat to Ryanair’s capacity during peak travel periods.

The airline industry is grappling with the end of a post-pandemic boom in pricing, as evident from warnings by other carriers like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.

As economic pressures mount, the sector must navigate a landscape of cautious consumer spending and logistical challenges.

Ryanair’s latest figures underscore the fragile nature of the current travel market, prompting airlines to reassess strategies to attract budget-conscious travelers while maintaining profitability.

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