Hong Kong (CNN Business)Ethiopian Airlines unveiled plans last October to build a mega-airport south of Addis Ababa. The new hub, it claimed, would handle 80 million passengers a year — the same volume as Heathrow in London.
Airlines don’t normally build airports. But the project reflected the ambition of Ethiopian Airlines, which has turned itself into an aviation powerhouse in part by acquiring stakes in the national airlines of neighboring countries.
Ethiopian Airlines generates billions of dollars in annual revenue and carried nearly 11 million passengers last year. Its fleet has grown to 111 planes, many of them new or just a few years old.