Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. FILE PHOTO | NMG Ethiopia and Rwanda are positioning themselves as the next aviation hubs on the continent with the planned massive investment in new airports that are likely to steal the thunder from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), which is one of the largest facilities in the region.
Ethiopia will in the next six months start the construction of a $5 billion airport with a capacity to handle 100 million passengers, which dwarfs JKIA that can handle 7.5 million people annually.
The Ethiopia’s move, which is aimed at complementing the current Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, is projected to boost the revenues of the Ethiopian Airlines that has direct management of the facility.
With the projected capacity of 100 million passengers a year, the new facility will be much bigger than Heathrow Airport in London and the Dubai International, currently number one worldwide in aircraft handling.
The airport is poised to become a major international hub for connecting passengers, especially in the US where the airline has direct flights in different American cities.
This comes at a time when Ethiopian Airlines has established a joint venture in other African nations including Malawi, Chad, Zambia and Mozambique with talks on going to revive Nigeria and Ghana. This will see the carrier use its presence in these countries to bolster its numbers.
The move implies that passengers who would have used other airlines such as Kenya Airways for direct flights to the US, can now connect easily to Ethiopia from the countries where the carrier has partnered with their local airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines reported a 25 percent increase in profit to $260 million in 2018-19 financial year riding on the back of more passengers and cargo, according to a report on the carrier’s website. During the period, the airline earned a revenue of almost $4 billion, an 18 percent increase than the previous year.
On its part, Rwanda has partnered with Qatar Airways to build a mega airport that will see JKIA play a second fiddle to it in the region once completed. The new facility is expected to eat into the number of regional passengers travelling to the US and other countries outside the continent, given Qatar’s largest connection network.
Qatar Airways is investing Sh131 billion in the new Rwandan Airport following a deal between the two countries. The deal will see the Qatari government own a 60 percent […]