Ethiopian Cargo outlines expansion plans and future aims

Ethiopian Cargo Boeing 777 Freighter

Ethiopian Cargo is aiming to grow its freighter fleet to 18 aircraft by 2025 from the eight it operates today as it targets growth across the business.

Speaking at the Africa Air Cargo Summit 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the opening speeches yesterday, the carrier’s chief executive officer, Tewolde Gebramariam said growing its fleet is a key part of its 2025 Roadmap strategy, which it has drawn up to plot where it wants to be in a decade’s time.

Ethiopian’s other targets by 2025 to grow its cargo business are to increase revenue from the $425 million it achieves today to $2 billion; up tonnage to 820,000 tonnes from the 350,000 it handles now and boost the number of freighter destinations it serves to 37 from the 35 it does now.

Gebramariam said Ethiopian, Africa’s largest airfreight carrier, is aiming to achieve $200 million in annual profit by 2025 and explained: “We want Addis Ababa to be the gateway for the continent of Africa.”

All these developments he says will be achieved through the strategy that includes “four pillars” – investing in its fleet, infrastructure, ICT systems, people and processes.

Gebramariam also explained to delegates in Africa that Ethiopian’s Cargo Terminal 2 at Addis Ababa, which will be the largest air cargo facility in Africa and it is investing $115 million in – is now 50 per cent complete.

He noted it is being built to meet increasing demand and growth and it will be opened in two phases. Each phase will give it 600,000 tonnes. It now has a terminal capable of handling 250,000 tonnes.

The first phase will open in May 2017 and the second years later when there is demand for the space.

Gebramariam also explained Ethiopian is targeting new business between Europe, Asia and to Africa and is looking at developing a pharma centre in Addis Ababa.

Another target area is door-to-door logistics services, and e-commerce volume growth through partnerships with integrators like DHL, UPS, Aramex and FedEx.

Ethiopian has its main hub in Addis Ababa, a second in Lome, Togo and is developing a third hub in Lilogwe, Malawi and it will soon be the first African carrier to receive an Airbus A350.

Of the state-owned carrier’s revenues, cargo makes up 15 per cent, compared to 85 per cent on the passenger side.

Speaking before Gebramariam was Minister of Transport of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Wokneh Gebeyehu who said that Africa is on the rise and is one of the fastest growing regions in the globe.

This was due to an expanding middle class, and continued good economic growth, while he also hailed the importance of air cargo to Africa and Ethiopia, but said it is vital air cargo is moved as easily and fastest as possible in the continent.

Delagates also heard that Addis Ababa has more international airline connections, 85, than any other city in Africa, and is followed by Casablanca with 82 and Cairo with 72.