Upgrading the Ethiopian Airlines Training Center / Didier Gentilhomme AFD
Since 2009, AFD has been supporting the national airline, Ethiopian Airlines, in extending and upgrading its training center.

The African air transport industry is marked by a low level of security and by a poor management of certain national companies. The lack of qualified staff can explain this level.

However, the public company Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) is a positive exception. For over 60 years, it has been developing reliable and safe air transport services in Ethiopia, on the continent and beyond.

The company is backed by a strong integration of the different professional activities, particularly through its vocational training center, also opened to other

This vocational training center was set up in 1956. Opened to foreign students, it currently receives trainees from 45 different countries. It provides initial and continuous training in 4 main fields:
- Piloting: around 12 pilots trained per year
- Aircraft maintenance: around 300 mechanics trained per year
- Cabin crew
- Marketing

However, in order to meet the growing needs of the company’s strategic plan, the center needed to upgrade its facilities, its equipment (which is sometimes outdated), its teaching methods and to build its capacities.


The aim of the project was to increase the size and the quality of initial and continuous training for pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, cabin crew and
ground staff.

This project comprised the construction of buildings, the provision of teaching equipment, and new accommodation and general service facilities.

The total project cost stands at 50 million euros, with 30 million euros financed by AFD through a direct loan with a low level of concessionality, whilst the remainder was financed by Ethiopian Airlines’ own equity.

This training center was inaugurated by the Ethiopian Prime Minister on 7 February 2016.


This project supports the company’s ambitious development plan. It contributes to the outreach of Ethiopia which is demonstrating through this project its ability to train and employ skilled staff — a staff that is appreciated by both the company and other airlines, such as the Gulf ones.

It finally heralds the creation, based on the Ethiopian Airlines Training Center, of a civil aviation academy, which will reinforce Ethiopian Airlines’ position as a company providing a number of skilled jobs, with an objective of 4,000 persons trained every year by 2025.

Project start date
30 000 000
Financing amount
Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise