Ethiopian Airlines to embark construction of a giant airport near Zequala, Bishoftu (Debre Ziet)

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam optimistic that construction of giant new airport could be launched this year

Ethiopian Airlines _ Tewodle Gebremariam
Tewolde Gebremariam. Photo : ENA

By Staff Writer
January 14, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines is poised to embark on the construction of what is said to become Africa’s largest Airport. And the project could launch as quick as six months from now.

Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO, estimates the size of the new airport to be bigger than France’s  Charles de Gaulle Airport in terms of size. 

The airline has got 35 square kilometers of land between Bishoftu (about 44 kilometers southeast of the capital Addis Ababa) and Zequala mountain.

Tewolde told the State media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), that authorities in the Oromo region of Ethiopia are cooperating to secure the land.

Residents in the region, said Tewolde, will benefit from it economically as the project will be creating jobs starting from the construction stage.

When it is completed, it will create an opportunity for farming communities in the region to supply hotels and other tourism facilities with agricultural produce including milk and eggs.

Ethiopian Airlines has distinguished itself as the largest and successful airline in Africa.

Despite the setback in 2019 with the tragic crash Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 minutes after take-off Bole International Airport killing all  157 passengers on board, the airlines managed to end the year with a great resilience distinguishing itself still as one of the best and leading in the industry in the continent.

On January 12, 2020, Speaker of Ethiopian House of Representative, Tagese Chafo, led group parliamentarians to visit the Ethiopian Airlines.  His question to the CEO was, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency, how to replicate the airline’s consistency of success in other organizations in the country. 

The CEO relates the success of Ethiopia’s flag bearer to “freedom from political intervention,” and “the unreserved and selfless dedication and commitment of its entire employees …”

In terms of measuring success, Tewolde Woldemariam told parliamentarians that the 2025 vision has already been achieved, according to ENA, and now it is working on the year 2035 vision.

Tewelde sees values behind easing connecting to any part of Africa possible. 

“I think to any African Ethiopian Airlines has become an inspiration,” he said in another interview with ENA when he was remarking on the relevance of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to three African countries this past week.  

Ethiopian Airlines, with more than 120 international and 22 domestic destinations, have transported 12 million passengers in 2019, as reported by ENA. 

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