Friday, December 1, 2023

Ethiopian Airlines buys 31 new Boeing planes, 11 new Airbus planes

The Ethiopian Airlines Group has placed orders for twenty Boeing planes and entered into an agreement for the purchase of eleven Airbus planes. The top African airline entered into the two deals within two days.

In the first deal, Ethiopian Airlines has ordered for 20 Boeing 737-8 Max jets and 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

In the second deal, the airline has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of 11 additional Airbus A350-900s with six more purchase rights to be added to its existing fleet.

The two deals were announced at the Dubai Airshow. Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive officer Mesfin Tasew said that Ethiopian Airlines expects to exercise options to purchase another 21 of the narrow-body planes. It also has purchasing options for a further 15 787-9 Dreamliner jets.

On buying the Boeing 737-8 MAX narrow-body jets, which is the model that was involved in the fatal 2019 Ethiopian MAX aircraft crash that led to the grounding of the global fleet, Tasew said that the airline was confident that Boeing had rectified the plane and it was now safe to run.

“We believe we have checked and confirmed that the design defect of that aircraft has been fully corrected by Boeing. We have renewed our confidence in that aircraft,” he said.

On the other hand, the Airbus agreement takes the Ethiopian Airlines total order book and commitment for the A350 to 33, including four A350-1000s.

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“We are excited to place this commitment for 11 Airbus A350-900s. As a customer focused airline, we are particularly excited for these fleet as it offers extra comfort to passengers with its features like the quietest cabin in its class and ambient lighting,” said Tasew.

“We are keen to expand our fleet size, acquiring the latest technology aircraft to offer a convenient and memorable onboard experience to our esteemed passengers.”

The A350 is the world’s most modern and efficient widebody aircraft and the long-range leader in the 300-410 seater category, flying efficiently on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 9,700nm.

Its clean sheet design includes state-of-the-art technologies, aerodynamics, lightweight materials and latest generation engines that together deliver 25 per cent advantage in fuel burn, operating costs and CO₂ emissions, as well as 50 per cent noise reduction compared to previous generation competitor aircraft.

The A350 has won over 1,000 orders from leading carriers from around the globe.

“Ethiopian Airlines is a great example of how to leverage the exceptional values of the A350 for long-haul travel, playing on the benefits of Ethiopia’s unique geographical position that offers the fastest connections between China and Latin America,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International.

“We are delighted to further strengthen Ethiopian Airlines fleet, and through this, continue the great relationship we have built up together.”

Ethiopian’s fleet category consists of ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Boeing 737s, 777s, 787s, Airbus A350-900 and Bombardier Dash 8-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of seven years.

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