Following the recent launch of Nigeria Air, Girma Wake, widely regarded as the influential figure known as the “father of the African aviation industry,” has resigned from his position as the board chairman of Ethiopian Airlines.
Although the specific reasons for his unexpected departure have not yet been disclosed, it has been confirmed that Wake has indeed stepped down from his role.
Girma Wake joined the Ethiopian Airlines board in 2018 and assumed the position of board chairman in April 2022, coinciding with the appointment of Mesfin Tasew as the group CEO, replacing Tewolde Gebremariam.
Wake is credited with playing a pivotal role in propelling Ethiopia towards becoming the largest carrier on the continent, competing with major airlines globally.
Having served the airline for over 30 years, including a tenure as CEO from 2004 to January 2011, Wake holds an esteemed reputation in the African aviation industry.
He also held positions as the board chairman of Rwanda Air and served as an advisor to the Minister of Transport in Rwanda. Additionally, Wake provided advisory services on aviation matters to the President of Togo.
Before his return to Africa, Girma Wake gained experience while working with Gulf Air and DHL in the Middle East. Known as a “straight talker,” he is highly respected for his straightforward approach.
While he supports government backing for the airline industry, he strongly opposes government interference in the operational aspects of airlines.
There have been concerns raised by stakeholders in the aviation sector regarding controversies surrounding the acquisition of aircraft used for the establishment of Nigeria Air, the national carrier