Despite the turmoil of Ethiopia's history in the past 40 years the government carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, has avoided being heavily impacted. Unlike other African airlines, which are too often corrupt, nepotistic, poorly run shambles, Ethiopian has been able to remain professional and market oriented. This has enabled it to be a beacon of profitability within Africa growing to be the continent's most successful airline with an ultra-modern fleet of over 80 aircraft. Needless to say however during the 1940s and 50s its aims were less grandiose.
Ethiopia has always been one of the most powerful and modern states within Africa, with the Solomnic dynasty's Ethiopian Empire lasting largely uninterruped from 1137 until 1974. The militaristic Marxiest Derg regime that superseded it killed tens of thousands and destroyed the economy leading to widespread famine in the 1980s, but since the establishment of the Federal Democratic Republic in 1991 a rebirth has begun. In 2016 Ethiopia is the most populous land-locked country in the world and the 2nd most populous in Africa. The economy has grown to be the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. Ethiopian Airlines has been well run throughout the period from its founding on December 21, 1945 and even posted a profit in the revolutionary year of 1991.
The airline was originally named Ethiopian Air Lines (EAL) and though fully owned by the Ethiopian government, under Emperor Haile Selassie I, it was managed by TWA. The rest of the 1940s saw growth of a regional route network using C-47s with co-operation with BOAC enabling long haul routes to Bombay. 1950 was an important year for the young airline for although the Bombay route ended in July the airline secured a US$1 million loan from the Ex-Im Bank that enabled it to purchase a pair of new Convair 240s. These were to be used to operate the international flights. Note the marketing of services as 'The Wonderland Route'.