Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ethiopia's grand plan to be Africa’s chief aviation hub

(Mar 10, 2015, (Daily Maverick))--Ethiopia is about to break ground on a new mega-airport just outside of Addis Ababa. When it is finished, it will be the size of Heathrow, dwarfing anywhere else on the continent. It’s a bold move which might just make Ethiopia the aviation capital of Africa – leaving South Africa, and struggling SAA, in its wake. By SIMON ALLISON.

It’s no secret that land-locked Ethiopia has grand plans to turn itself into Africa’s chief aviation hub. Over the last few years, Ethiopian Airlines has overtaken South African Airways as the largest airline on the continent in terms of fleet size – and their fleet includes 11 of the ultra-efficient new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. This year, it looks likely to overtake SAA on passenger numbers too.

This has been accompanied by a steady expansion of Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport, which can currently handle seven million passengers a year. Not much in the grand scheme of things, but new construction has already begun to increase this to 25 million passengers, which will be more than OR Tambo International in Johannesburg (18 million) and Cairo International (22 million). Read more from Daily Maverick »

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