Ethiopian Spirit…

The first Ethiopian 787 Dreamliner is pulled into its parking spot prior to a VIP flight to Mt Kilimanjaro. note the new titles.

Just how a country with a GBP of 500 US dollars per capita and whose economy is nearly fifty percent rooted in agriculture supports the largest airline in Africa remains an enigma.   Boasting several new plastic Dreamliners and one of the youngest fleets of any airline, the “New Spirit of Africa” sports a livery that is virtually unique in the sprawling chaos that defines the Addis Ababa hub.

Economic challenges prevail as do the need to transport one third of a metric tonne of teaching equipment, donations and personal luggage. “The New Spirit of Africa” obliged without flinching; the Kenyan customs however discerned a financial opportunity. Focussing on a suitcase of deflated soccer balls, a protracted negotiation on their tax value took place in private, whilst the rest of team awkwardly portrayed normal in the concourse.

After all these years of African adventure, the question “How much would you be happy to pay sir?” does not sit comfortably sans-witness and whilst the source of the enquiry is armed.


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