Monday, May 14, 2012

● ETHIOPIA: See the renderings for Ethiopian's new HQ and hotel.

Ethiopian Airlines

With almost 50 aircraft in its fleet and another 43 state-of-the-art jets on order, a much coveted Star Alliance membership, and a profit for 2011 of USD$25million making it one of the few profitable African airlines, Ethiopian Airlines has much to be proud of.


Based out of Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport, Ethiopian Airlines last year put forth its future plans in a paper entitled "Project 2025" which set out its goals and objectives to make Ethiopian "the most competitive and leading aviation group in Africa by providing safe, market driven and customer focused passenger and Cargo Transport, Aviation Training, Flight Catering, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Ground Services, Domestic and regional services by 2025."

Having surpassed its original goals set out in 2005 in its "Vision 2010", the airline states that its overall target for Vision 2025 is to implement a new restructuring program that will transform Ethiopian Airlines into an aviation investment group.

Vision 2025 objectives & goals summarized:
  • Construction of Maintenance Hangar
  • Expansion & upgrading of Ethiopian Aviation Academy
  • Construction of Simulator building for different fleet type
  • Construction of 5 star hotel
  • Expansion of Cargo Terminal
  • Construction of new Catering facility
  • Construction of parking building
  • Construction of new Headquarters
Herein we will discuss the two administrative/hospitality projects slated under Vision 2025 - The 5 Star Hotel & The head quarters.


In 2009, Ethiopian issued a tender to indigenous Ethiopian companies for the design and supervision of contract for it's new headquarters at Bole Airport. However, the airline was not satisfied with the submissions and only second to fifth place of the design bid were announced on Monday, April 11, 2010, with no actual winner being declared.

“Our company is the only one that received a very good result from the airline on the evaluation form,” Samuel Alebel, Technical Assistant of Ultimate Plan Plc, told Fortune.

The bidders were told by the airline to wait until a formal decision was made as to the next step to be taken, according to Samuel.

“We are not satisfied with the designs,” Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian, told Fortune, “because most of them do not meet the requirements set by the airline. Most likely, we will go for an international bid. However, it is still under process.”   

In theory, the "winner" was the second placed bid Ultimate Plan Plc, then Sileshi Consult Plc, Mulugeta Asfaw Consult, and finally Gereta Consult in fifth place, respectively. Berhanu Mussa Architecture & Engineering had also entered the bid but did not make the top five.

UltimatePlan Ethiopian Airlines Headquarters Submission
UltimatePlan PLC's 2nd place bid. (UltimatePlan)

A second round tender was announced in September 2011. In February 2012 Ethiopian Airlines finally made its decision settling instead for a design by Ethiopian architectural firm BET Architects Plc, in collaboration with Soehene Partners Architects, an Austrian company. 


This proposal is also intended in creating a high class international standard building and a structure that would address the requirement of its growth, active operation and accomplish its Vision-2025. The administrative blocks are in a floating form that resembles mountains and canyons. Similar to the landscape that flows into the building the lobby is also floating and rising. There are gardens in between the blocks which are made up of landscapes with trees and art sculptures. The sun shade of grand lobby around which the office blocks are situated is symbolized with timber trees.

Location: Bole Airport, Addis Ababa
Net Area:
15.000 sqm
Expansion Area: 4.500 sqm
Planned Number of Employees: 1450
Estimated Completion: 2014
Estimated Cost: USD$20million

Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines
The winning bid (SoehnePartner Austria)

The deal was signed by Yissehak Zewoldi, Vice President of Alliances & Corporate Strategic Planning with Ethiopian and Tesfamariam Teshome, Manager, Senior Partner, and Architect at BET Architects plcon May 17 February 2012.

The 4 or 5 Star Hotel

Anyone who has ever had the "pleasure" of missing their Ethiopian connecting in Addis Ababa will know of the Riviera International Hotel in down town Addis - the hotel used by Ethiopian Airlines for passengers in transit. While not necessarily dreadful, in light of Ethiopian's membership of Star Alliance, it could do with a far smarter hotel - something that is presently in the pipeline under the guise of a  proposed joint venture between Ethiopian (to have 53% shareholding) and China's Hainan Air (18.8%) and the China Africa Development Fund (CADF) (28.2%) with a value of USD$60million. 

Addis Ababa Hotel
The plot of land to be used near Bole Airport (Addis Fortune)
"It had announced a bid in January 2009 to hire consulting firms to design and supervise the construction of the hotel, where domestic companies such as National Consult Plc, Ultimate Plan Plc, and ETG Designers & Consultants Plc, all in partnership with their international associates, had made their offers. Nonetheless, the management had cancelled this in November 2009, claiming to have an interest in searching for other alternatives."
 Read More Here [Addis Fortune Ethiopia]

Addis Ababa Hotel
The rendering for the hotel (Addis Fortune)