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We’ve Got Friends in High Places

Ethiopian Airlines and Customer Service in Ethiopia

TewoldeI have just spent several days in Ethiopia with our service culture client and Worldwide Customer Service Leader for 2013… Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. Mr. Gebremariam has been the recipient of the 2013 “GOLD Level Boeing Performance Excellence Award”,  “2013 Planet Africa Professional Excellence Award”, “Airline Strategy Award for Regional Leadership”, “African Business Leader of the Year” and many more.

Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country and it’s second largest in terms of population with over 91 million people. It is one of the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa.  They depend heavily on agriculture and one of their key exports is Coffee.

Ethiopian Airlines has decided to expand its business and also represent SQI in Ethiopia. The airline is government owned and the most respected, best managed business in Ethiopia and customer driven airline in the country. They want to be the friendliest airline in Africa. While in Ethiopia they launched their new direct service to Shanghai China from Addis Ababa.

In March 2011 Ethiopian Airlines launched the Service Quality Institute 3-year Service Culture Plan starting with a seminar for their top 500 leaders. So far they have used six SQI programs with 150 facilitators being trained on our Speed program.  Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in Africa for efficiency and operational success.

Ethiopian Airlines now wants to help the country improve its customer service and brand. They sponsored a seminar on March 31 for the top government leaders and businesses. This was followed with a service strategy seminar for their top 50 leaders and then the following day for 600 key employees at the airport from immigration to customs. I will be flying back to Ethiopia in April to work with the government to create a customer service culture for 1 million civil service employees.

Ethiopian is a corporate citizen engaged in non-profit activities that support the community at large.   In 2008 Ethiopian Airlines unveiled plans to plant trees throughout Ethiopia, during the Ethiopian Millennium year, and launched a long-term environmental campaign known as FLY GREENER. Also, for more than 7 years Ethiopian has been partnering with The Children’s Heart Fund of Ethiopia, which provides life saving operations for children with heart disease thanks to medical professionals, who volunteer their time and expertise to perform cardiac surgery.  Ethiopian definitely walks the talk.  Friends in high places take care of their own and focus on their commitment to service and support.

Hilton HotelWhile in Ethiopia I stayed at the Addis Abab Hilton for the 3rd time. The Bell Staff is consistently the BEST in the World. They use your name, remember your room number, and will do whatever it takes to make your stay a great experience. They are like a 5 Star concierge only better.   Unfortunately, I failed to get a photo with them but will later this month and add to my Facebook and page I also have a Twitter account                         


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