Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has been expanded to triple its size and accommodate 22 million passengers annually. The expansion work on the airport, which is the main hub of Ethiopian Airlines, cost Ethiopia a total of $363 million and firmly establishes Addis Ababa’s place as the biggest aviation hub in Africa.
Last year, Addis Ababa overtook Duabi as top feeder of air traffic to Africa, having increased the number of international transfer passengers to sub-Saharan Africa for five years in a row.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who inaugurated the new terminal and Skylight Hotel by Ethiopian Airlines, noted that the airline is the pride of Ethiopia, embodying the philosophy of Medemer. Medemer, which means addition is Ahmed’s political philosophy. Ahmed also announced a new 100-million passenger mega airport in Bishoftu, Oromia region of Ethiopia.
The new expanded terminal which has 86 check in counters and 10 luggage drop offs is equipped with the latest technology, security systems and other modern facilities. The project is in line with Ethiopian’s vision 2025 strategic road map, which has seen the airline add more flights, with the capacity of its main hub now tripled. Thus, the airline’s Washington D.C. flights will be increased from current daily to ten weekly flights.
“In line with our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, we will keep on expanding our U.S. and African network so as to facilitate people-to-people ties and the flow of investment, trade and tourism,” said Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.
“From the planned daily flights to New York, four will be served via Lomé to Newark and three will be via Abidjan to JFK Airport. There will be a new gateway, Houston, which will replace Los Angeles, and will be served three times per week via West Africa,” the airline said in a statement.
As Ethiopian expands to accommodate more passengers, the airline’s new 5-star hotel, the most luxurious in Addis Ababa, will also help the airline offer comfort to passengers, who are either transiting through Ethiopia or visiting the country.