Ethiopian Skylight Hotel Testament to Success of Airlines Continued Growth: Fairfax Africa Fund Global Chairperson

The opening of the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel phase two is a testament of the “success of Ethiopian Airlines and its continued growth not just in Africa but globally,” Fairfax Africa Fund Global Chairperson Zemedeneh Negatu said.

The second phase of the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, built at a cost of over 155 million USD, was inaugurated today by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

With the completion of the second phase, Ethiopian Skylight Hotel has a total of 1,024 rooms.

Fairfax Africa Fund Global Chairman Zemedeneh Negatu told ENA that hotel has a world class facility, the kind of hotels you normally see someplace like in Dubai, Singapore, and China. “It is really world class five star quality place.”

“Not only is the hotel big, but it also has the capacity to attract and accommodate large number of visitors,” he added.

Noting that Addis Ababa lacked big hotel quality facility in the past, Zemedeneh said that this is a reflection of the fact that Addis Ababa and Ethiopia can now accommodate a very large group of visitors with high quality.”

According to the chairperson, Ethiopia's economy is going forward for the next 10 years and one of the priorities for growth is tourism that needs the development of infrastructure.

“For tourism to grow, you need infrastructures like hotels, places to stay, and of course Ethiopian Airlines that is connecting the domestic to the global. This hotel, I think is a reflection of that strategy. Hotel and tourism growth strategy coming together. It’s a real testament.”

He further noted that there are a few countries, certainly not in Africa, that have such a hotel. “I think this is (therefore) a big celebration for Ethiopian Airlines and Ethiopians as well as for the tourism sector in this country.”

Although this hotel has multiple purposes, one is providing service for transit passengers. And Ethiopian Airlines will transport about 14 million passengers around the world this year.

Zemedeneh pointed out that Ethiopian is the biggest airline in Africa and also one of the biggest in the world. So, of those 14 million who fly with Ethiopian Airlines, imagine that 20 percent transit through Addis Ababa. In this scenario, Addis will end up with over two million passengers.

He believes that the country “actually needs a lot more of these hotels. There are hotels being built, but Addis actually needs a lot more hotels like this, because if we look at the growth of Ethiopian Airlines vision 2035 it could double the number of aircrafts.”

For that to really be accommodated efficiently you need facilities, infrastructures, airports, of course, the chairperson stated, adding that the Bole International Airport was expanded to accommodate 22 million passengers last year.

“There is also a decision to build a new 100 million passengers airport just outside of Addis. All these things need to be looked at in an integrated way. It's not just the hotel, it is also the airline, the hotels or the service. When you start dealing with this business like this, the service providers or the ecosystem or service providers from catering to drinks and other things will grow as well together.”

Zemedeneh stated that such hotels will have a multiplier effect on the economy and will certainly help strengthen Ethiopia's desire to become a major tourist destination.

The world-class five Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, is owned by Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest and one of the most profitable in the world.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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