The African carrier presents more than satisfactory traffic figures for 2016, illustrating the airlines’ continuous move upwards. Growth was particularly strong in cargo which increased
by 12 percent over 2015, totaling 357,544 tons.
This year’s highlight will be in April, when the state-of-the-art freight terminal at Addis Ababa Airport opens up its gates.
Ethiopian Cargo staff is in good mood these days, triggered by the remarkable performance of their unit and the fact that ET Cargo not only defended its position as the continent’s number one
freight carrier but also cemented the pole position in 2016. Each single day, ET Cargo accounts for 650 tons of freight flown in or out their hub in ADD by their freighter fleet.
About 200 tons of imports and exports transported in the lower decks of their jetliners landing and departing at Bole International every single day complement this figure. The data proves the unprecedented upswing of ET’s cargo business that started last decade.
Freighter network keeps growing
What began within a manageable scope has meanwhile become quite big. Today, the African airline operates a wide freighter network, encompassing 36 destinations globally with Liege, Brussels and Lomé acting as important sub-hubs. This is by no means the end of the line, says Solomon G/Medhin, ET’s Senior Corporate Communications Manager. “In 2017 we plan to further expand the network by flying to India, South America and China, adding four more freighter destinations to our itinerary.”
When speaking about the new cargo terminal equipped with technique worth €32 million provided by German specialist Unitechnik Systems based in Wiehl, North Rhine-Westphalia, he gets thrilled. According to Solomon, the first construction phase will be terminated in April, allowing an annual throughput of 600,000 tons and the storage and handling of temperature critical items, since the building is equipped with different climate chambers.
The second construction phase will follow suit, upping the total yearly capacity to 1.2 million tons of cargo. Once completed, the building will be Africa’s largest cargo facility and the most
modern as well.
By looking further ahead, Solomon announces that ET Cargo intends to be CEIV pharma certified in January of next year. Another focus standing high on the management’s 2017/18 agenda is transporting live animals in accordance with international regulations. The same accounts for express items, courier activities and the mail business that will be offered to the market on routes that are operated by daily wide body services.
More freighters to join the fleet
He also announces plans to phase in two more freighters in 2017, a Boeing 767-300F and a 737-800F with the latter to be deployed on short- and medium-haul routes. Concurrently, Solomon reminds that the existing warehouse remains in existence, offering a further yearly capacity of 250,000 tons.
Wrapping last year’s development at ET Cargo up it can be said that 2016 has catapulted the airline further up front among the African carriers and underpinned its position as intercontinental player shown by its widened network. This is also evidenced by the passenger figures that grew by a remarkable 20 percent, totaling 7,595,000 travelers during the past year.