Ethiopian Airlines to Add 20 Boeing 777X Widebody Jets

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Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines announced recently that the East African airline will purchase eight 777-9 passenger planes, with the option for up to 12 more.

Ethiopian Airlines is the first African carrier to order 777X jets, following a 2023 order for 11 787 Dreamliner and 20 737 MAX planes to modernize and expand its fleet. “We are pleased to continue setting the trend in African aviation by adopting cutting-edge technologies to enhance our services and customer satisfaction,” the airline stated.

Mr. Mesfin Tasew, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, stated that the 777-9 improves the airline’s operational performance and commitment to environmental sustainability by providing more flexibility, lower fuel usage and carbon emissions.

He added, “We are grateful to Boeing for their long-standing partnership and support, and we eagerly anticipate flying the 777-9 across the African skies and beyond.”

The 777-9, which is based on the 777 and incorporates advanced technologies from the 787 Dreamliner family, boasts new carbon-fiber composite wings and engines, allowing the aircraft to achieve 10% higher fuel efficiency and operational costs than competitors. The 777-9 will let Ethiopian Airlines expand and modernize its fleet in size, range, and passenger and cargo capacity to access high-demand markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

“Ethiopian Airlines marks yet another first in our longstanding partnership by selecting the 777-9 to be the flagship of its growing fleet,” said Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “Building on a relationship that goes back 75 years, we deeply value the unwavering trust and confidence Ethiopian Airlines puts in our airplanes.”

Boeing aircraft account for more than half of Ethiopian Airlines’ current fleet, which includes 29 787 Dreamliners, 20 777s, three 767s, 27 Next-Generation 737s, and 15 737 MAX jets. Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing are continuing to look into ways to help the country’s aerospace industry grow, such as supporting Ethiopian Airlines’ MRO capabilities, industrial development, training capabilities at the Ethiopian Aviation University, STEM education, and equipping the Ethiopian Museum of Science with aerospace exhibits.

According to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook, Africa’s aviation traffic is expected to rise at a rate of over 7% per year until 2042, ranking third among worldwide regions and above the global average of over 6%. With a range of 13,510 km (7,295 nautical miles), the 777-9 allows flights from Addis Ababa to Seattle in the United States, providing opportunities for carriers and better features for customers.

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