Ethiopia Inaugurates the Biggest Airport Aviation Hub in Africa
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has officially inaugurated Addis Ababa Bole International Airport passenger terminal expansion project, the Biggest Airport Aviation Hub in Africa which could cater 22 million passengers annually.
The airport facility has been expanded to triple in size to accommodate 22 million passengers yearly and is now the biggest airport aviation hub in Africa.
The China-funded project began construction in 2015 at a cost of US $35m.
Formerly known as Haile Selassie I International Airport, Bole International Airport is the main hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline that serves destinations in Ethiopia and throughout the African continent, as well as nonstop service to Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
The newly expanded airport terminal has been refurbished with amenities and high-tech systems of 21st century global airport hub including automated bag drop solutions, e-gates, self-check-in kiosks, improved baggage handling and latest technology security machines along with tilting tray sorter systems.
The Airline also launched a five star hotel ‘Ethiopian Skylight Hotel’ the hotel is located five minutes drive from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and was built with the an outlay of 65 million USD.
This five star hotel rests on 40,000 square meter and has 373 rooms with 27 presidential and executive suites, four restaurants and a conference and banquet hall that can hold 2, 000 people at a time.
It was indicated that in the immediate future, the hotel will generate 400 jobs.
In addition to promoting Ethiopian tourism, the hotel will also welcome passengers during transits, stopovers or technical delays, according to the Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan aimed at becoming Africa’s leading airline group.
Founded 74 years ago, the airline has an operating fleet of 111 planes. It currently flies to more than 119 international passenger and cargo destinations, with over 61 of those in Africa alone.
In the past five years, Ethiopian Airlines has doubled the number of their passengers, and increased its profit fivefold.
South African Airways was also replaced by Ethiopian Airlines as Africa’s largest carrier last year after Ethiopian Airlines managed to grow its seat capacity by 177.7% in 7 years.
Ethiopian Airlines has strategically invested across Africa, making deals to revive defunct airlines, setting up hubs in countries including Togo, and partnering with airlines in Malawi, Chad, and Mozambique.
The country also announced that it would start granting visas on arrival to people from Africa.