Ethiopia plans to commence building Africa’s largest airport at $5 billion within six months.
The new airport will be 70 kilometers from the existing Bole International Airport in the capital Addis Ababa, and can handle as many as 100 million passengers yearly. This expansion would elevate Ethiopia to compete with London’s Heathrow (Europe’s busiest airport), and Dubai International (currently the world’s number 1 for international flights) as it has more capacity than both.
According Ethiopian Airlines‘ Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam, Bole Airport is not going to be sufficient considering the ever rising number of passengers regardless of the expansion project as it will be overwhelmed in three to four years if the airline grows as projected.
“Bole airport looks very beautiful and very large but with the way that we are growing, in about three or four years we are going to be full,” he added.
Ethiopian Airlines recorded a 25 percent increase in profits to USD260 million in 2018-2019 as it carried more passengers and cargo. Revenue of almost USD4 billion, 18 percent higher than previously, could continue to climb as the airline nears its goal of 22 million passengers by 2025.
The airline has been a member of the International Air Transport Association since 1959 and of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) since 1968. Its headquarters are at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, from where it serves a network of 125 passenger destinations; 20 of them domestic and 44 freighter destinations. The airline has secondary hubs in Togo and Malawi and is currently in talks to start airlines in Ghana and Nigeria.