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Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated its second cargo terminal that has the capacity to accommodate 600,000 per year, on Thursday, June 29, 2017. The cargo terminal includes facilities such as Dry Cargo Terminal warehouse, perishable cargo terminal with cool chain storage two floors of office space among many other things.
“This is not only the largest cargo terminal in Africa; it is also one of the best in the world. With this large cargo terminal I think the continent can position itself in the global stage in the 21st century competitive globalized market,” Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Group said during the inauguration.
The CEO further underlined that as infrastructure development being one of the airline’s four pillars, the Group has been making massive investments in infrastructure projects.
“About a year ago we inaugurated the largest aviation academy in Africa. A few months later we inaugurated the largest catering center in Africa in December 2016, which can produce 100,000 meals every single day. Again, a few months later in April 2017, aligned with the ICAO training conference, we inaugurated three maintenance hangars with a dedicated paint hanger for our MRO. Then again, after less than two months today we are here to inaugurate this cargo terminal,” he said.
The newly inaugurated cargo terminal will accommodate 600,000 tons of cargo per year and combined with the previous terminal, it will give the airline an installed capacity of more than a million tons per year. This, the CEO said, is comparable to other world class facilities in airports such as Changi in Singapore, Hong Kong or Schiphol in Amsterdam.
Built on 150,000 square meter land, the cargo terminal constructed at a cost of USD 150 million has four modern electronic transport vehicles and it can also load eight airplanes at a time.
“We are also partnering with DHL Global Forwarding to inter into the multimodal logistics business as the country needs it badly at this time with the fast growth of our economy in the last 20 years and the with the industrialization that is coming up, the logistics has to prepare itself to support all the exports of textiles, leather products, pharmaceuticals and so on,” the CEO said.
Also officially inaugurating the cargo terminal was Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who called on investors to take advantage of Ethiopian Airlines’ connectivity across the continent as well as globally.
“I call upon investors to invest in the country in the sector of horticulture where we have prepared 2,500 hectares of green land for this purpose. The inauguration of this cargo is a valuable logistical convenience for our investors to deal with the lucrative business opportunities in Ethiopia,” the PM said.
Speaking on the success of the state owned airline, the PM also said “Today the national carrier has become the largest aviation group and the fastest growing airline in Africa with shining operational excellence and its success is an inspiration to other state owned institutions in my country and in Africa at large.”