The Ethiopian Airlines said it is striving to improve its cargo services capacity in a bid to providing efficient service to the ever increasing foreign trade of the country.
According to Public relations office of the Airline preparations are underway to construct cargo terminal with a capacity to handle 1.2 million tons cargo as part of the efforts to improve the services.
It said the construction of the terminal will be carried out in two phases.
Ethiopian Airlines is Africa's largest cargo service provider, it said, adding, last year alone the Airline has transported 110,000 tons of goods.
The volume of cargo transported and the revenue obtained during the just ended Ethiopian budget year surpassed the previous year by 18 percent and 32 percent respectively.
The Airline has set to increase its cargo service capacity to 710,000 tons in 2025.
Ever since the first cargo charter operation was launched to Nairobi in 1946 and the boom of agricultural export products out of Ethiopia to Europe, Ethiopian’s cargo services has been steadily growing since the early 1970. In addition to the utilization of the belly space of passenger fleet of B767-300, B757-200, B777-200 LR, B737-700 and B737-800 aircraft, Ethiopian cargo services operates dedicated freighter aircraft on a charter and scheduled basis.
Until 1976 when Ethiopian configured its 707-320C aircraft into a cargo only freighter, the Airline used the belly holds of its passenger aircraft for cargo carriage.
In 1985, Ethiopian acquired a B707 all-cargo aircraft, further expanding its cargo facilitates and this was followed in 1988 by the delivery of two Lockheed L100-30s, registering a quantum leap in performance and capacity for the shorter haul and smaller airfields and served efficiently until they were phased-out in November, 2004.
At present, Ethiopian’s freighter fleet consists of two 757Fs and the belly holds of nine B767-300ER, six B757s and five 737-700 aircraft.
In addition, the company has leased two B747F to transport floriculture and horticulture produces to Brussels thereby enabling Ethiopian commodities to reach the European market.
Currently, Ethiopian operates over 40 cargo destinations spread across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East via its hub, Addis Ababa, and another cargo hub at Liege Airport, Belgium.
Ethiopian has behind it over 60 years of experience in transporting goods ranging from industrial products to perishables.
Outgoing cargoes from Addis Ababa are typically frozen meat, fruits, semi-processed (finished) leather, vegetables, flowers, carpets, rugs, chilled meat and frozen fish products.
Incoming cargo includes chemicals, equipment and machinery, spare parts, electronics, garments, medicines and tea.