Africa's largest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, plans to start building a new $5 billion airport in six months, its CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said. Ethiopian's rapid expansion is causing it to outgrow its current base in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
“We have not only survived but also we have grown. So all the targets that we have planned for vision 2025 are completed by 2018,” Mr. Tewolde said, speaking to ENA.
The airport, which will rest on an area of 35 square km, will be built in Bishoftu, a town 39 km southeast of the Addis Ababa, and will have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers a year. .
“Bole Airport is not going to accommodate us; we have a beautiful expansion project. The 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,” Mr. Tewolde said. Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa has a passenger capacity of about 19 million passengers annually.
Tewolde noted that the price tag of the new airport was higher than the $4 billion cost of building the still-to-be-completed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile, with the projected passenger numbers topping those at Dubai’s international airport. He did not give details of how the construction would be funded, nor who would build the new airport.
Sources: ENA, Reuters