‘PTA Bank has a great deal of confidence in Ethiopian,’ CEO
The long awaited housing program for employees of the Ethiopian Airlines seems to have been realized as financing has finally been secured from PTA Bank.
The state-owned African carrier introduced a scheme to construct houses for its employees long ago-during Girma Wake’s administration.
The airline launched a 1.4 billion birr housing project in 2009 for the benefit of its about 7,000 employees. The initiative is said to have been introduced as an incentive to curb the high turnover of staff the airline observed over the past decade, especially from its crew, maintenance and engineering departments.
The enterprise hence secured for the project a 313,472sqm plot of land around the CMC area at Bole Beshale through a 90 year lease from the then provisional Addis Ababa City Administration under the command of Mayor Arkebe Equbay.
After two years of construction, which started in 2011, Ethiopian Airlines was able to complete only 30 percent of the construction due to lack of financing. The management hence tried to get financing from different national and international financial institutions.
On Tuesday September 10, Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian CEO, and his team were overwhelmed with joy as they signed a loan agreement worth USD 22 million with the PTA Bank for their housing project.
Tewolde described the institutions’ partnership as a model of cooperation between two Pan African institutions.
“Ethiopian Airlines covers the entire continent not only by flying to and from 46 destinations but also by training Africans, repairing and maintaining African aircrafts, engaging in catering and ground services.”
“We are the largest cargo carrier in the continent with six jumbo jet airplanes, so it is a pan African airline,” he said. “PTA is also a Pan African institution, supporting the development of Africa. This shows for all people of Africa that there’s enough resources in Africa to support African development if we really come together and work together like we are doing today.”
Tewolde is hopeful that PTA will remain a good partner in many other projects that Ethiopian Airlines will have in the months and years to come. “We are going to build a state-of-the-art cargo terminal which can accommodate 1.6 million tons of cargo which will be the largest in Africa if not in the world. We also need their support for it,” he said.
Admasu Tadesse, President and CEO of PTA Bank, said that PTA has a great deal of confidence in Ethiopian Airlines. “We believe there’s much scope to do more together,” he said, stating this wasn’t the first operation that the two institutions had. “Of course, it is our obligation, being a regional institution in which the Ethiopian state is a member; we are expected to advance the development agenda of Ethiopia which includes a very strong aviation sector,” Admasu said.
The construction, which is expected to be completed by 2014, is aimed at helping employees, according to Tewolde . “We value our HR more than anything else,” he said. “The most precious asset in Ethiopian Airlines is our people. And the most dependable and decisive competitive advantage of the enterprise is our people.”
The first phase of the construction project consists of 1,192 housing units, with the Chinese Zhejiang Yefeng Construction Company undertaking the construction.
Tewolde hinted that another loan application of USD 40 million is being formally processed at PTA.