ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Airlines’ operating revenue jumped nearly 30% in the year to July 31, a senior government official said on Tuesday, helped by a surge in passenger numbers.

Operating revenue jumped by 28.6% year on year to 114.6 billion birr ($3.9 billion), said Wondafrash Assefa, head of communications at Ethiopia’s Public Enterprise Holding and Administration Agency (PEAA).

PEAA has a supervisory role over public enterprises including Ethiopian Airlines.

Wondafrash did not give a reason for the revenue leap, but the airline’s CEO Tewolde Gebremariam last month told state television that passenger numbers had risen by 14%.

In March, one of the airline’s Boeing planes crashed a few minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa en-route to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.

That crash and another involving Lion Air two weeks earlier led to the grounding of U.S. planemaker Boeing’s 737 MAX jets worldwide.

($1 = 29.2000 birr)

Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by David Goodman