AABIA is located in the Bole district at the southern outskirts of the City of Addis Ababa, and is 8 km from city center (and 40 miles north of Debre Zeyit). Situated on Bole road, the Airport is accessible via motorways 1, 4, 5, & 7.
For business travelers it may be noted that the Airport is only a 10-minute drive from the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC-AA) located on Menelik Avenue. The city of Addis Ababa is the headquarter for the African Union and the base for major UN agencies, inlcuding the OAU's secretariat.
With two long runways and around 7.5 million passengers, AABIA is hub to Ethiopian Airlines operating out of Terminal 2 (serving the African continent, as well as Asia, Europe and America), and is served by international airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all parts of the globe.
Passengers can either electronically check-in and print their own 2D barcoded boarding passes, or use SITA Cuss kiosks for self-check-in.
- Nationals of countries allowed visas on arrival need to check with the Airport Immigration Office to enter Ethiopia. All others have to come with their entry visas and must pass through the Passport Control Counters.
- Transit passengers may want to check http://www.airlinequality.com/airport-reviews/addis-ababa-airport/ first before making flight arrangements.
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has currently a Domestic Terminal 1 (T1) and an International Terminal 2 (T2):
The renovated and expanded Domestic Terminal 1 serves domestic & regional air traffic; it houses 14 check-in counters & 4 airline gates
The new steel-and-glass International Terminal 2, opened in 2003, serves only international traffic, with 28 check-in counters & 7 airline gates, is one of the largest terminals on the African continent, with three levels and the height of a six-storey building - with its own parking garage, shopping complex & restaurants.
Ethiopian Airways Transit Service is available at the Interline Desk on level 1. Passengers with a connecting flight over 8-24 hrs, can take advantage of the Interline Desk on level 1 which arranges for hotel stay for passengers with transit/ entry visa and incldes bus transfer to/from hotel.
Amenities & services inside the passenger terminals include a bank branch, currency exchange service, post office, VIP lounge, first aid station, travel agency & tour operator, a few food & drink establishments, gift shops, newsstands & duty-free shops. Bole Airport's baggage handling system can handle up to 8,000 bags per hour.
Airport/ Airline Lounges:
- Cloud Nine passengers can use the Cloud Nine Lounge offering a number of amenities, including computers & wireless connection.
- Gold lounge, located just in front of the fast track and boarding gates is designated for use by Star Alliance gold members and their guests traveling onward on a star alliance carrier.
- Shebamiles lounge near the security entrance of gate 4-8 is for Ehiopian Airways' silver members.
Rental cars can be arranged by tour operators & travel agencies inside the Airport's arrivals areas. (A rental car desk for Avis, tel. 510355, is available at the Ras Hotel on Churchill Avenue (the city's main thoroughfare),
Parking options at Bole International include a parking garage in front of the International terminal and a parking lot in front of the Domestic Terminal.
Present & future Airport developments:
- Ongoing construction work at the current airport started 2014- involving a new expansion area & consolidation of current Terminals 1 & 2. Currently it is estimated that nearly half of the job has been completed- with total completion scheduled for February 2018, when the Airport should support 22M passengers annually - housing shopping malls, lounges, recreation centers, new boarding areas with new boarding gates & boarding bridges. (Currently 70 percent of all passengers at Bole Airport are transit passengers. )
- Construction of a new Airport - located 40 miles from the City and within the Province of Addis Ababa has begun in early 2017. It is to become a mega hub, to be built in phases over an 8-year period - with 4 runways, a number of terminals, and a capacity of 120M passengers a year.
(Much-needed local airports (Robe Goba & Kombolcha) have now started Air Service.)