Business Aircraft Ops to Ethiopia: Hotel, Local Area & Weather
This is a post by authors Stanley Joseph and Tigist Aberra. Stanley and Tigist work for Kilimanjaro Aviation Logistics Centre (KALC), a subsidiary of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. which is headquartered in Mwanza, Tanzania. Stanley and Tigist are experts on permits and handling aircraft for the African region and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Ethiopia and continues from our last article: “Business Aircraft Ops to Ethiopia: Flight Planning.“
Most general aviation (GA) operators who travel to Ethiopia land only at Addis Ababa (HAAB). This location offers adequate crew accommodation options, full aircraft services and has good on and off airport security.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Hotel options
Major centers in Ethiopia, particularly Addis Ababa, offer a range of adequate hotel options including large international chain hotels. Local hotel brands are generally good, but it’s best to obtain recommendations from your ground handler to ensure the hotel meets your organization’s standards, especially when traveling outside of the Addis Ababa area.
2. Hotel availability
While availability of 4-star hotel accommodations is generally good throughout the year, there are occasional periods of heightened demand where preferred hotel options may sell out. The African Union Summit, which takes place in Addis Ababa each January, is one period when hotel pricing spikes and room availability can be challenging.
3. Short notice requests
For short notice accommodation requests, particularly during busy local event periods, it’s best to work with your 3rd-party provider. Local ground handlers are not usually involved in facilitating short notice accommodations requests but will assist as needed.
4. Rental vehicle options
For crews familiar with the Addis Ababa, renting a vehicle may be an option to consider. For first time visitors, or those not accustomed to the region, we always recommend obtaining a car with driver. Travel within the capital can be tricky as the city has been under continuous construction for some time. When renting a car in Ethiopia it’s possible to choose the option or having a driver included. This is recommended, particularly if you’re able to arrange a driver who speaks your language.
5. Visa requirements
Crew members listed on the gen dec do not require visas to enter the country, irrespective of nationality. Passengers from specific countries and regions – the European Union (EU) and U.S. included – have the option of obtaining Ethiopian visas on arrival. Other nationals need to obtain required visas prior to arrival. It’s recommended that you speak to your 3rd-party provider to ground handler for visa requirements.
6. Agricultural restrictions
Ethiopia is fairly open in terms of bringing food or in-flight catering items into the country. Unlike many parts of the world, where agricultural regulations require immediate destruction of leftover catering and non-perishable foods, food importation is not usually a concern in Ethiopia. Be sure, however, that you have an acceptable and safe place to store left-over onboard catering. Ground handlers and airport personnel in Ethiopia do not usually have refrigerated storage on hand for bulk items.
7. Identification and vaccinations
When off-airport in Ethiopia a passport is the best form of identification to carry. However, for security reasons, crew usually prefer to carry scanned copies of their passports and keep the originals locked up in the hotel. Yellow fever is the only vaccination you’ll need to officially consider when operating to Ethiopia, and only when arriving from certain endemic countries. Additional preventative vaccinations may be recommended by your health provider, but these are optional considerations for Ethiopia.
8. Security considerations
Airport security is very good at all larger airports in Ethiopia. When off airport, it’s important – as with anywhere in the world – to be aware of your surroundings and practice general security precautions. General crime activity, however, is not usually a problem here. Be very careful if traveling close to border regions with Somalia as this neighboring country remains unstable, experiences occasional terror activity and is not crime free. For additional information, read our series on security awareness and planning.
9. Weather considerations
Weather in Ethiopia is generally comfortable for the flying experience and not an issue for flight planning. Meteorological (Met) offices are available at major airports in Ethiopia to provide local and national weather as well as current NOTAMs. Crew may visit Met briefing offices at any time while the airport is open.
10. Additional reading: Business Aircraft Ops to Ethiopia – Series Index
Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.
- Part 1 – Airports and services
- Part 2 – Ground handling
- Part 3 – Fuel and security
- Part 4 – Customs, immigration, and quarantine
- Part 5 – Permits
- Part 6 – Flight planning
- Part 7 – Hotels, local area and weather
When operating to airports in Ethiopia other than HAAB, it’s important to research hotel and local transport options and to have contingency plans in place. Accommodation and local transport options are usually more challenging, and limited, outside of the capital. Also, it’s important to be aware of vaccination and visa requirements when traveling to Ethiopia.