ADDIS ABABA: July 07, 2018. According to a report in the Ethiopian newspaper The Reporter, the cargo operation of Ethiopian Airlines is to sign a joint venture with DHL.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said an agreement would be signed this month between Ethiopian Airlines Cargo & Logistics (EACL) and DHL to set up a new company with Ethiopian and DHL owning 51 percent and 49 percent respectively.

Ethiopian 787 GenevaGebremariam said DHL was already a major customer of the airline generating US$50 million a year. He told The Reporter the new venture would focus on serving manufacturers in newly established industrial parks and major export centers.

Noting Ethiopia has an inefficient and expensive logistics sector, Tewolde said industrialization without equivalent global standards in logistics would lead to failure. “We believe that the logistics sector is the dragging force. It is under developed. That is why we are going to enter the logistics service in Ethiopia,” he told the newspaper.

EACL, one of the airline group’s eight profit centres, carried 343,000 tons of airfreight last year via six B777-200F and two B757-200F, making it the largest cargo airline in Africa. In 2017 it ordered two more B777 freighters and opened a second cargo terminal at Addis Ababa with a capacity to handle 600,000 tons.

According to the airline, by 2025 it plans to operate 19 freighters - 11 B777-200s, four B767-300s and four B737-800s and generate US$2 billion per annum from air cargo.