ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) announced on Friday the company is speeding up passenger terminal upgrading project of Ethiopia's largest airport, the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
Speaking to Xinhua, Li Xiudong, Deputy Project Manager at CCCC Ethiopia Office, said his firm is working to finish a 138 million U.S. dollars expansion and renovation project at the old terminal of Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
"We have two contracts: contract one which is finished total cost 225 million U.S. dollars with funds obtained through concessional loan from Chinese government. Contract two is about expansion and renovation of old terminal. We've just started the project; the cost is around 138 million U.S. dollars. This project will be completed after one and half years," said Li.
In January 2019, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed inaugurated a terminal at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport constructed by CCCC.
The new terminal has an annual capacity of serving about 22 million passengers, eventually tripling the national carrier Ethiopian airlines current capacity towards making Addis Ababa as the aviation hub of the African continent.
Li who has been living in Ethiopia for the last 15 years ,said he's honored CCCC has contributed substantially towards making Addis Ababa a modern international city.
"From 2004 to now, it's almost total change in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa has become a modern city with modern roads, many roads built by CCCC," Liu told Xinhua.
Eskinder Alemu, Acting CEO of Ethiopian Airports, commended CCCC's work for helping realize Ethiopia's aviation sector ambitions.
"The Airport terminal expansion means a lot to Ethiopian Airlines and to Ethiopia as a whole because it will be a hub for aviation in Africa,"
"The expansion will increase tourist flow, facilitate the transport of passengers and goods through Addis Ababa while increasing the current passenger capacity of the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by double to reach 25 million passengers annually," Alemu told Xinhua.
So far, CCCC are doing fantastic job and as per the design of the project, so we hope this professionalism will be reflected in all projects they undertake in Ethiopia," he further said.
Ethiopia hopes once the Addis Ababa Bole Airport Terminal expansion project is fully completed, the airport will be hub for travel between China and the rest of Africa.
The east African country also eyes the terminal expansion project as crucial to meet the needs of the large numbers of Chinese tourists it wants to attract to visit its touristic sites.
Ethiopia recorded 190 million U.S. dollars in revenue from 50,626 Chinese tourists that visited the country in 2018.
China is the third largest source of tourists visiting Ethiopia, only after the United States and Britain.
The national flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, now flies passenger and cargo flights to five destinations in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
Ethiopian Airlines is also planning to open new flight route to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, which is home to internationally known high-tech companies including Huawei and ZTE.
Ethiopian Airlines was the first African carrier to offer flight services to China back in 1973.