|Addis Ababa Bole International Airport Terminal|
The European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, on Tuesday said that Addis Ababa will be a mega city in the next twenty years.
Mega cities are those that have more than 10,000 long haul air passengers every day.
Airbus said currently there are 39 mega cities in the world, adding that this number would increase to 90 in the coming twenty years.
It said Ethiopia will join this group within twenty years.
Countries which have mega cities need very large aircraft like Airbus A380. Ethiopia, too, may need A380 in the coming 20 years. However, as Ethiopian airlines is growing fast it needs more new aircraft, it said.
According to Airbus, its new product A350XWB is on the right track. The A350, which is currently in the manufacturing line, is expected to roll out of the final assembly line in Toulouse this year and would fly early next year. First deliveries are slated for 2014.
Ethiopian Airlines has placed firm orders for 12 A350-900 aircraft. Airbus will start delivering the first A350s to Ethiopian in 2017.
At present, Ethiopian is contemplating to order for more long-haul aircraft and it is evaluating the Airbus A330 and the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
Driven by tourism, an expanding middle-class, increased urbanisation, business relationships with developing nations, and further opportunities from market liberalisation and low cost, Airbus forecasts that Africa overall will average annual passenger growth rates of 5.7 per cent. This figure is well above the 4.8 per cent world average growth rate and far outstrips more developed markets such as North America and Western Europe.
Africa used to rely on river and road transport, but today aviation is essential for development, and will increasingly become the 21st Century’s answer to connect people in the region with each other and the rest of the world.
Air travel in Africa is predicted to increase by 5.7 per cent per year and Airbus has the most innovative and eco-efficient aircraft family available to satisfy the needs of airlines and the expectations of passengers now and in the years to come.
Airbus is the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturer producing the most modern and efficient airliners from 100 seats to over 500, according to different international media. (ENA)