As the new year turned, Ethiopian Airlines took a moment to congratulate itself on its 2016 performance in a press release that had an interesting update on its ambitious new cargo terminal, which is now 82 percent complete, and expected to be operational in April 2017.
Upon completion, the Addis Ababa facility will have an annual storage capacity of 1.2 million tonnes and will be able to handle eight 747-800 freighters at a time. Construction of the first phase will cost approximately US$150 million. The new facility is billed as one of the largest of its kind in the world, and is central to Ethiopian’s plans to go up against Middle Eastern carriers and bolster its dominance in the African market.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam noted in the release that, “upon completion, our uplifting capability will be equivalent to the cargo terminals at Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi or Hong Kong.”
The new cargo terminal is part of Ethiopian Cargo’s Vision 2025, aimed to support the country’s export of perishables including flowers, fruits, vegetables and meat. That plan includes expansion of its freighter network to eighteen aircraft serving 37 international cargo destinations by 2025.