The long awaited construction of Ethiopian Airlines' four star hotel has finally begun. Chinese Company, China National Aero-Technology is responsible for the construction and has committed to handing over the project in 720 days.
Design and supervision of the project are being handled by a joint venture of a local firm, Sileshi Consultant and international and Molen Associates, a Hong Kong-based company.
The hotel, which will be built on 40,000sqm located in front of Millennium Hall on Bole Road, has had many ups and downs in the process since it was announced seven years ago.
In January 2009, Ethiopian announced the first bid for design, consulting and construction.
Local consultants including National Consultant Plc, Ultimate Plan Plc and ETG Designers & Consultants Plc participated but were cancelled by the client after a process that lasted 11 months.
Opting for other feasible alternatives, Ethiopian made a closed bid after two and a half years, in March 2012.
The saga later continued with a cancellation of the closed bid and a third alternative was chosen when the Airline reached agreement with the China-Africa Development Fund and HNA Hotels & Resorts (Group) Co. Ltd. in a detailed joint venture. That too was dropped without any substantial explanation from Ethiopia's flag carrier.
The plan that has been tentative for so long has recently posted signs declaring current agreements and has broken earth for construction.
The last phase bid floated almost three years ago in February 2013, attracted companies from China, South Africa and the United States.