Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport Opens New Terminal For Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines successfully unveiled its new passenger terminal at Bole International Airport last week. The flag carrier ensured the terminal was designed with a focus on bio-security and bio-safety measures.

Ethiopian Airlines New Terminal Addis Ababa Bole Airport
Africa’s largest airline has opened a terminal focused on protecting the safety of passengers. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines

Addis Ababa, Ethiopian’s capital city, houses Bole International Airport. The airport serves as Ethiopian Airlines’ central hub.

The new terminal is also part of the carrier’s 15-year growth plan, referred to as Vision 2025.

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Amenities in the new terminal

The new terminal is equipped with 60 check-in counters and 30 self-check-in kiosks. There are 10 spots for self bag-drop services, 16 immigration counters, and 16 screening areas for security purposes.

Further, the development of the terminal needed to accommodate widebody aircraft. There are three contact gates for the planes, and 10 remote contact gates, which includes travelators, panoramic lifts, and escalators.

Aviation24 reported that there are 32 counters and eight e-gate provisions at the arrival section. These are on the mezzanine floor level.

CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam expressed his gratitude for the opening of the new terminal. He acknowledged that from 2019, Bole International Airport had become the leading gateway to Africa, taking over Dubai’s spot. He added,

“What makes the new terminal unique is that it’s the first terminal in the world to be completed after COVID-19. It was designed, not re-purposed, with Bio-safety and Bio-security in mind. I’m sure our esteemed customers will highly appreciate that.”

Ethiopia Bole International Airport Addis Ababa
Bole International is 6km away from Addis Ababa’s city centre. Photo: Bradley Howard via Flickr

Moreover, the global pandemic impacted the terminal’s design. In essence, the carrier put significant focus on bio-security and bio-safety measures. Biosecurity mainly refers to efforts aimed at preventing the spread of harmful diseases or organisms, through limiting contact between passengers, for instance.

Ethiopian’s Vision 2025

Opening a new terminal is a significant part of Ethiopian’s Vision 2025 project. Essentially, one of the core pillars is aviation infrastructure expansion. Vision 2025 is Ethiopian Airlines’ 15-year plan that focuses on transforming the airline and cementing its position as Africa’s largest airline group.

Ethiopian Airlines has five more years to achieve its 15-year-plan. Photo: Getty Images

As reported in Payload Asia, Vision 2025 consists of four core pillars, one being securing the right fleet. At the moment, the carrier has 121 planes, ranging from Boeing 787s to Airbus A350s.

The next pillar is on infrastructure, as aforementioned. In 2017, Ethiopian Airlines opened its Cargo Terminal-II facility in Addis Ababa airport.

The third pillar is human resource development, as the airline continues to pump money into training its staff and crew. Finally, Ethiopian aims to improve its systems. It has since automated all its procedures and is moving forward to becoming a paperless airline.

Succeeding during the pandemic

Currently Africa’s biggest airline, Ethiopian has managed to prove its resilience amid the pandemic. While COVID-19 was affecting almost every airline in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines did not require a bailout.

To date, the international airline has not defaulted on any of its payments neither has it received or needed any financial lifeline.

South African Airways Aircraft
Ethiopian has expressed interest in SAA since 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Instead, the airline has focused on performing cargo and repatriation services to keep afloat. In fact, Ethiopian believed it could survive on cargo alone until July hit – and it did. Additionally, it finds itself in a comfortable enough position to potentially place a bid on South African Airways.

Have you visited Bole Airport before? Does the new terminal benefit you? Let us know in the comments.