ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia envisages making its capital, Addis Ababa, a strategic aviation hub between China and Africa.
Speaking to Xinhua, Transport Minister Ahmed Shide said Ethiopia and China have air infrastructure as a major pillar of the two countries’ cooperation.
We plan to make Ethiopia’s capital city a strategic aviation hub between China and Africa, Ahmed stated.
According to the Minister, Ethiopia’s aim to be an African aviation hub connecting the continent to the world’s most populous country in the world is where Ethiopia’s aviation dreams intersect with China’s capital and expertise.
Aviation is an important area of cooperation by both governments, with Ethiopia’s national air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, becoming a connecting force between African and China, Ahmed stressed.
Expansion work on Ethiopia’s largest airport, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, funded by a 345-million-US dollars loan from China’s Exim bank, is being undertaken by a Chinese company.
The project, lying on 74,000 square meters of land, plans to increase the airport’s annual passenger handling capacity from the current 7 million to 22 million.
However, the Minister noted, Ethiopia expects Chinese cooperation in Ethiopia’s aviation sector to only grow with plans by Ethiopia to build a mega airport outside of Addis Ababa to meet its aviation ambitions.
The planned mega airport, which is expected to cost 3 billion U.S. dollars, will be able to serve up to 100 million passengers annually, it was learned.
With the recent structural reorganization in place, Ethiopia is at present working to become an African aviation hub.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK