Ethiopian Airlines plans to build a new airport in Bishoftu, located in the Misraq Shewa Zone of the Oromia Region in the East African country.
According to Fana Broadcasting Corporation, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has started consultation with the Oromia regional state to acquire the land needed for the airport, which will have an annual capacity of 80 million passengers. An hotel will also be built with the airport, Fana said.
Located 48 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Bishoftu has several points of interest for tourists, including Mount Yerer, Green Crater Lake and Lake Hora Kiloli. It is a resort town, known for five crater lakes. Harar Meda Airport is located in the town, but it serves as the main base for the Ethiopian Air Force.
State-owned Ethiopian Airlines has been making headlines in recent days over its continued growth in Africa where several carriers have struggled. The company has invested in smaller airlines across the continent and is in prime position to manage Nigeria’s planned national carrier.
Anti-government protests broke out in Oromia region over land rights in 2015. The protests continued through 2016 when a state or emergency was declared. Hundreds were reported killed by security forces over a two-year period. Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed, who was appointed in April, is from the region.