Windhoek-Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa, has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, enabling further development of its fast expanding long-haul route network. Last June, Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircraft in order.
Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s, two of which are on lease. Today’s order tops-up the Addis Ababa-based carrier’s fleet, enabling it to pursue its growth strategy and objectives over the coming years.
Ethiopian Airlines’ A350-900s are configured in a two class layout seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being.
“Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in the cabin is one of the four pillars in our 15 years strategic road map, vision 2025, and this order placement for additional A350s is one component of this strategy.
“The performance, operational and cost efficiencies we have achieved with our initial A350-900s have resulted in these additional ten aircraft order placement and thereby suffice our ever-expanding global network.
“We will deploy the additional aircraft on our long haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” explained Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.
“Ethiopian Airlines’ repeat order is a resounding endorsement of the A350, its suitability, flexibility and unmatched economics. We are delighted that innovative aircraft as the A350 are closely associated with the world’s fastest growing and profitable carriers,” said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design and materials, including its carbon-fibre fuselage and wings. It is powered by new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these advanced technological features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions in addition to significantly lower maintenance costs.
To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 851 firm orders for the A350 from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.