Ethiopian Airlines Group is set to launch a cutting-edge global e-commerce enterprise, in partnership with e-commerce giants Alibaba and Amazon, among other collaborators.
Located adjacent to the cargo terminal at Bole International Airport, ET’s e-commerce hub is nearing completion, with a staggering construction cost of USD 50 million.
During the 11th African Airlines Association (AFRAA) stakeholders’ convention, held from May 7-9 at the Skylight Hotel in Addis Ababa, Abel Alemu, Managing Director of Cargo and Logistics Services for the Group, confirmed that the warehouse is in its final stages and will be fully automated.
The warehouse will operate as a central distribution center for merchandise sourced from global e-commerce providers.
Ethiopian Airlines will then deliver these products to African consumers based on their orders, effectively bridging the gap between global e-commerce enterprises and the African market.
Ali Mohammed, the Group’s Corporate Communication officer, has unveiled Ethiopian Airlines’ plan to offer African customers the opportunity to order products from the partnered companies, with the airline delivering the goods to any location within the continent.
ET aims to transform Addis Ababa into a hub of the global supply chain, Ali disclosed.
“For instance, suppose an Ethiopian residing in Addis Ababa purchases a USD 10 commodity from Dubai. Since no supplier can deliver this single commodity to Addis, it is unfeasible. However, Ethiopian Airlines can aggregate all such orders, bring the products in bulk, and deliver them to customers,” Ali clarified.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, ET’s cargo business has witnessed substantial growth. The fusion of Africa’s import demand with e-commerce is predicted to carve out a new business avenue for the airline.
Ali asserts that a considerable number of people in Ethiopia and other African countries wish to purchase items from the United States, Europe, China, and other places, but there is no practical method of transporting these products to the continent.
“ET’s e-commerce will bridge that gap,” he remarked.