Despite Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport having just opened a second terminal last year more than doubling the airport’s capacity to more 22 million, the CEO of state-owned Ethiopian Airlines has revealed plans for a new ‘mega’ airport south of Addis Ababa.
Tewolde Gebremarian said the new $5 billion airport would cover an area of 35km2 and would be able to handle 100 million passengers. Ethiopian Airlines is currently based at Bole Airport but Tewolde feels it would no longer be able to accommodate the flag-carrying airline.
“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.”
With 19 million seats in 2019 Ethiopian is by far Africa’s largest airline.
Construction of the new airport is expected to begin later this year in Bishoftu, which is situated around 39km southeast of Addis Ababa. No details have been given on how the new airport will be funded or will be tasked with the construction
Ethiopian Airlines posted a net profit of $260 million in the 2018/2019 financial year according to Reuters and last year launched four-times weekly flights from Manchester in the UK to Addis.