addis ababa bole international airport a complete guide for visitors

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After you have got your Ethiopia Visa, and are ready to travel to the elegant tourist destination of Ethiopia you must learn about the amazing airport of Ethiopia, which is Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Traveling in and out of the airport is mostly done by locals and other non-nationals who have the proper documents for entering the country. The most common visas these days are the Ethiopia Tourist Visa, or the Ethiopia Business Visa or any other Ethiopia E-Visa 

Addis Ababa Airport Information:

First of all, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (AABIAP) is one of the two major International Airports of Ethiopia, the other being Aba Tenna Dejazmach Yilma International Airport. It is on the Southern side Addis Ababa, the national capital of Ethiopia. Its proximity to the town center is also a strategic advantage. The airport is has a medium temperature and is rather cooler than the rest of the country. Apart from the strategic location its temperature also gives the advantage of being the most popular airport in Ethiopia.

It serves both international and domestic flights of Ethiopia and hence it is of utmost importance for the country while acting as a hub for the bordering countries as well. Addis Ababa Airport has been serving the country as an international doorway for more than 40 years and has been hosting more than a million passengers per year. Due to its increasing popularity and importance, the airport is going under continuous expansion, with which it is estimated that the airport is catering to around 450 flights per day in and out of the country.

It is a widely accepted fact no other airline can compete with Ethiopian Airlines, it has come out to be the biggest airline in Africa. Therefore, Ethiopian airlines have never been in a loss since its beginning.

Another reason for the significance of Addis Ababa Airport is that it has a state of the art aviation academy which makes it top the world rankings, as one of the top airports. Ethiopian Aviation Academy has a world-class infrastructure and training facility.

While it has busy traffic, the city is experiencing an economic boom due to many tourists arriving in the city, with an increasing number of applications for Ethiopian Visa each year. In less than 10 years the traffic at the airport has increased substantially. Another major reason for Addis Ababa’s economic vibrancy is its foundation and also the cultural background that the city enjoys.

Due to the country’s lack of trained professionals dealing in aviation, Ethiopian Airlines decided to provide training to students from all over the African continent. The airline has been quite successful in offering excellent training and support throughout the whole duration of the programs.

Addis Ababa airport calls upon aspiring professionals from across the world to its aviation academy. In conclusion, Addis Ababa airport is going through some of the most challenging and enormous airport expansions in Africa. Consequently, expect more airlines to fly to and from this airport.

Facilities at Addis Ababa Airport

The airport has two terminals with more than 10 gates. Additionally, it has more than 30 remote aircraft parking stands behind both Terminals.

Terminal-1 of Addis Ababa Airport serves Domestic and Regional flights for: -       

  • Ethiopian Airlines   

  • EgyptAir

  • Qatar Airways

  • Sudan Airways

  • Yemenia. 

Terminal-2 of Addis Ababa Airport serves International flights and the rest of the airlines that serve the airport.

Ethiopian Airlines has been planning about its expansion of the airport which began in 2012. The first phase of its Cloud Nine Business Class Lounge at Bole International Airport also started later that year. This will provide premium travelers with modern facilities and amenities, mostly for visitors having Ethiopia Business Visa. 

The next phase of the construction will include some other services such as spas, private lockers for passengers, and a traditional Ethiopian coffee corner. Upon completion, it is expected to be threefold its current size.

Cloud Nine also has a quiet corner with mattresses for sleeping and reading lamps, electronic massage couches, and an internet facility with a free Wi-Fi connection. This elegant experience is part of the "Vision 2025".

In 2017, it was reported that the Ethiopian Airlines Group has managed a deal with China Communications Construction to build a new hub that would cost more than 300 Million US Dollars. The project is expected to be completed and open to the public in 2018.

Addis Ababa Airport Transport

Available means of transport from Addis Ababa Airport to the city center:

Addis Ababa Airport Bus

The bus options available to transfer from Addis Ababa Airport to downtown are listed below:

Minibus at Addis Ababa Airport

To conveniently reach Downtown Addis Ababa from Addis Ababa Airport, the option is to take the Ethiopian Minibus. It is certainly the most affordable way of transport to get to Addis Ababa. Most of the buses in Addis Ababa are colored in white or a combination of White and Blue, hence easily recognizable. The time required for the journey will depend upon your destination.

Location of Transportation at Addis Ababa Airport

If you like you can also take the bus service from the Minibus Station which is fairly close by and can be found facing the terminal building.


  • Short trips: 1.50-3 Birr

  • Medium trips: 3.80 Birr

  • Long trips: 7 Birr

Addis Ababa Airport Taxi

The Taxi service at the airport is relatively fast but like any other country comes not as cheap as the public transportation of Addis Ababa. 

Types of taxi

In Addis Ababa there are a variety of taxi services available for visitors: 

  • The taxis that are colored in blue and white are privately owned.

  • The taxis that are yellow, are Government owned and maintained by the National Tour Operation (NTO).

Where to find Taxi at Addis Ababa?

To get to a taxi and get on with your journey in Ethiopia, an easy way is to look for the taxi service by the Addis Ababa Airport. The services are usually available at the counters located in the Arrivals Hall of both terminals.

You can also find taxi companies at the taxi ranks of Addis Ababa Airport which operate 24/7:

  • National Tour Operation (NTO): +251 115 51 29 55

  • Bole International Airport & Hotels Taxi Association: +251 116 62 7301 / +251 911 21 4655


Now for the fares, as there are no meters used in the city, the government taxis have fixed prices for the major routes. The payment is generally given in advance however, you can bargain with the driver about the additional fees.But, be careful as the blue and white taxis also don’t have meters and the prices are being a lot higher than the blue and white ones since they are owned by private companies. Estimated prices to downtown from the Addis Ababa Airport maybe around 100 to 350 Birr.

Bajaj's (Tuk – Tuk)

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to explore Addis Ababa is by taking a Bajaj ride. You will be able to get around comfortably through the city. You can find Bajajs at many points in on the streets throughout the city but, they are banned from major roads. A ride on a Bajaj for a single person could be around 3 Birr, and for a multiple passenger trip, the price may go up to 1.5 Birr.

Addis Ababa Airport Car Rental

If you are looking for a more independent way to travel and explore around Addis Ababa, the best option for you is to rent a car.

Car rental services can be easily found at both the tour operators and travel agencies' offices located near the Arrivals Hall of Addis Ababa Airport.

Addis Ababa Airport Services


Bank Branch

Both banking services and currency exchange services are available at the Adds Ababa Airport. 

Parenting Rooms

There are public spaces available at the airport terminal especially for parenting and infant care. 


Public Telephones are available throughout the airport.

Lost luggage

Left Luggage services are not currently available at the airport. Although there is a lost and found service: +251 11 517 8958.

First aid station

In the state of emergencies that require medical services, there is a first aid station at Addis Ababa Airport.

Lost & found

To inquire about any lost items visitors can easily contact the Addis Ababa Airport facilities, through: 

+251 11 517 8306 / +251 11 665 0304

Other Services at Addis Ababa Airport

  • Restaurants

  • Shops

  • Toilets


Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Lounge: 

  • Services: Wi-Fi, snacks, TV, Internet Terminals. 

Ethiopian Airlines Star Alliance Gold Lounge: 

  • Terminal 2. 

  • Open from the first departure until the last departure. 

  • Services: Wi-Fi, snacks, among others. 

Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine Lounge II: 

  • Terminal 2. 24 hours open. 

  • Services: Wi-Fi, snacks, newspapers, and magazines. 

Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine Lounge I: 

  • Terminal 2. 

  • Services: Wi-Fi, snacks, drinks.


Airlines at Addis Ababa Bole Airport

The major airline working in and out of Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is Ethiopian Airlines, flying more than 100 domestic and international destinations.

Other airlines at Bole International Airport are as follows:

  • Air China

  • Air India

  • Asiana Airlines

  • EgyptAir

  • Emirates

  • Gulf Air

  • Kenya Airways

  • Lufthansa

  • Oman Air

  • Qatar Airways

  • SAS

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines

  • Shenzhen Airlines

  • Singapore Airlines

  • South African Airways

  • Sudan Airways

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Yemenia Yemen Airways

  • Fly Dubai

Immigration and Customs at Addis Ababa Airport

Non-Nationals must keep in mind that they have all the required documents to travel to Ethiopia. 

In most scenarios, a visa is asked for.

Only citizens of Djibouti and Kenya are allowed to enter the country visa-free.

Most travelers are usually interested in the Ethiopia E-Visa. The E-Visa is presented along with the passport on arrival in Addis Ababa.

Import regulations at Addis Ababa Airport for things you can carry are as follows:

    • Around 300 to 400 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco.

    • 2 liters of alcoholic beverages

    • 600 milliliters of perfume

An unlimited amount of foreign currency can be brought into Ethiopia but it must be declared.

It is also recommended visitors check the required vaccines for Ethiopia well in advance.  People arriving from a country affected by Yellow Fever may be required to provide a Yellow Fever certificate.


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