Ethiopian Airlines has become the first airline in Africa to purchase the A350-1000 planes. This is after converting its existing orders of A350-900 for larger A350-1000 planes.
The new purchase order will see Airbus deliver six of the larger planes to Ethiopia.
“The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe that the upsizing will be instrumental in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our vast global network across five continents,” said Mesfin Tasew, the Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive officer.
The A350-1000 can carry about 369 passengers with a maximum limit of 480, while the A350-900 can only carry 300-350 passengers.
Ethiopian had ordered 22 Airbus planes as part of its expansion plan, 16 of which it had already received, making it the first in Africa to use the A350 planes.
The carrier deploys its A350-900s on its long-haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia.
The A350-1000s can reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions by 25 percent. Currently, Ethiopian Airlines has the largest fleet in Africa, including Airbus, Boeing planes.