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News around Africa - Profiles - January 15, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines Embarks on New 5bn Airport – CEO

Ethiopian Airlines will embark on the construction of a $5 billion airport later this year, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has said.

The airport which will be built in Bishoftu, a town 39 km south-east of the capital will cover an area of 35 square km and will have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers on a yearly basis.

According to the state-run Ethiopian News Agency, CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said that the move is to further expand its capacity for more aeroplanes.

“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,” Tewolde said.

Currently, the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa has a passenger capacity of about 19 million passengers annually.

Tewolde added that the new airport’s projected passenger capacity will top those at Dubai’s international airport

Although he did not give details of how the construction would be funded, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Tewolde as saying construction will start in the next six months.

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, which competes with large Middle East carriers to connect long-haul passengers, has built a patchwork of African routes from its hub in Addis Ababa to fly customers towards expanding Asian markets.

It has 116 aircraft in its fleet and its net profit rose to $260 million in its 2018/19 financial year from $207.2 million a year earlier.

Related: Ethiopian Airlines is Africa’s Best for the 3rd Year

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