Construction

Ethiopian Airlines to build $5bn airport city

Ethiopian Airlines generated $4bn in 2019 from 12 million passengers and 432,000 tons of freight

Ethiopian Airlines is to start building a new airport this year, as part of its goal to become Africa’s gateway to the world. The airline’s CEO says the company will invest $5bn into the new airport city, which is taking shape near the town of Bishoftu, South East of the capital of Addis Ababa.

The airport city is expected to occupy 35sqkm of land and will be the largest airport in Africa, according to the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA). Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said that the airline has completed its vision 2025 seven years ahead of time and stated that it made remarkable progress, especially considering the challenging operating environment over the last 10 years.

“We have not only survived but also we have grown. All the targets that we had planned for Vision 2025 were completed by 2018. We came up with new Vision 2035 which is predominantly scaling up the growth and more fleet, passengers, destinations and particularly a new airport,” said Gebremariam.

The existing Bole International airport in Addis Ababa is one of the busiest in Africa and is nearly to capacity though it has undergone expansion, the CEO said. Gebremariam explained that the new airport is needed to take the pressure off the existing airport as business travel grows.

“We have a beautiful expansion project, the airport looks very beautiful and is large but with the growth that we are seeing every year, in about three or four years we are going to be full. So, we have now started a new project around Bishoftu in a place called Absera.”

On completion the new international airport will have an annual passenger handling capacity of 100m and will boast duty free shopping malls, hotels, logistics and training centres.

Gebremariam stated, “We have identified 35sqkm land to be developed as an airport and it is about a $5bn project – larger than the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). It is going to accommodate 100m passengers; larger than Dubai and more or less equal to the new Istanbul airport.”

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