MIAMI – Ethiopian Airlines plans to build a new $5 billion super-airport in Addis Ababa, according to its CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam.

The new airport will be built 39km southeast of Addis Ababa in a town called Bishoftu, covering 35 square kilometers of land. Once fully completed, the airport will be able to handle 100 million passengers per year.

The new airport is due to become Africa’s largest and will help Ethiopian Airlines sustain its ambitious growth plans. Construction is due to begin later this year.

Gebremariam explained that “Bole Airport is not going to accommodate us. The airport looks very large but with the way that we are growing, in about three or four years we are going to be full”.

Ethiopian Airlines currently has a fleet of 121 aircraft and serves 125 passengers and 44 cargo destinations.

The airline’s fleet is broken down as 14 Airbus A350 XWBs, 30 Boeing 737s (737-700, 737-800, 737 MAX 8), six Boeing 767s, 20 Boeing 777s (777-200LR, 777-300ER, 777F), 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners (787-8, 787-9) and 26 Dash 8 Q400s.

A brand-new Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777-36N(ER), ET-APX (MSN 42101 / LN 1150), awaits its delivery at Paine Field (PAE). PHOTO: BERNIE LEIGHTON.

Back in 2019, Ethiopian Airlines reported an operating profit of $260 million and operating revenue of $4 billion with a total number of 12.1 million passengers.

Alongside the passenger numbers, Ethiopian Airlines also carried 432,000 tons of cargo, bringing its net profit for the year to $189 million—about $18 million less than 2018’s net profit, despite the airline carrying more passengers and more cargo in 2019.