RECEIVING BOEING JETS
Today, as We welcome the arrival of Ethiopian Air Lines’ two Jet aircraft, which have just touched for the first time on Ethiopian soil, Our nation moves one step closer to the day of her full entry into the commercial jet age. The newly-arrived Boeing 720-B Jet aircraft will operate from this airport, connect Ethiopia with the rest of the African continent, with Europe and the Middle East. In a little over a month, they will be placed in service on Ethiopian Air Lines’ existing international air routes. Simultaneously, a new route will be established linking Ethiopia with Spain by direct service.
We trust that when the execution of the construction work is completed other International Carriers will utilize this modern airport and that they will be afforded adequate services. We have on many occasions emphasized the high significance which must be placed on increasingly accelerated progress in transport and communication, on stimulating the flow of travellers from other lands who will voyage to Ethiopia, whether as businessmen seeking investments here, or as tourists coming to view and enjoy our natural beauty and ancient monuments. Let no one underestimate the impact which this revolution in transportation must have upon Ethiopia and her people. Let no one underestimate the challenge which this poses for Us all.
But it is only by meeting and resolving ever more difficult and complicated problems that a man or a nation grows. Ethiopian Air Lines, which only fifteen years ago inaugurated its services with small two-engined aircraft attaining a maximum speed of 256 kilometres per hour, has progressed to the integration of these four-engine jet airplanes which cruise at about 950 kilometres per hour. We are equally confident that Ethiopia will meet and solve the many other problems which beset her in the modern world.
No single man or group of men can claim sole or major responsibility for the continued success Ethiopia’s national carrier has enjoyed. Without the concerted efforts and the unflagging energy of the personnel of Ethiopian Air Lines, of those in Our Government charged with responsibility for civil aviation affairs, of those who have served on the Air Lines’ Board of Directors, of the many foreign experts and technicians who have given unstintingly of their services, this day would not have been achieved. We must, however, make special mention of Trans World Airlines which, under the Contract executed in the very earliest day of Ethiopian Air Lines’ existence, has played a vital role in providing management personnel and expert assistance and advice. We welcome today to Ethiopia Mr. Charles Tillinghast, President of Trans World Airlines, and express to him Our personal appreciation for the happy relations which have existed in the past between Trans World Air Lines and Ethiopian Air Lines, relations which We are confident will continue into the future. We must also mention the names of Mr. W. G. Golien and Mr. Victor H. Harrell, Jr., who served as successive General Managers of the Air Lines for more than a dozen years and to whose imagination, energy and devotion must be accorded a large measure of Ethiopian Air Lines success.
We welcome as passengers aboard this aircraft a number of distinguished visitors. We wish them a pleasant stay in Ethiopia and We trust that they will carry away with them warm memories of their visit to Ethiopia. We thank His Highness Dejazmach Mengesha Seyoum who in the early stages of this important Civil Aviation Development Programme made a significant contribution. We also thank the President and Chairman and members of the Board of Directors, the Department of Civil Aviation and the management and personnel of Ethiopian Air Lines for the labours which have produced the events of this memorable day.
We art pleased to note that so many of Our youth have attained proficiency in the techniques and execution of this ever increasingly complicated and rapidly advancing science of aviation.
We are most thankful to Almighty God for His ever Helping Hand in Our efforts to accomplish Our programme for the development of Our Country.
Dec. 4, 1962.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 569 –