WINDHOEK – Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of its 100th aircraft, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, on June 6, once again leading the way in fleet expansion and modernisation in Africa.
As part of Ethiopian corporate social responsibility commitments, the new aircraft ferried medical equipment from the Seattle-based NGO, direct relief to St Paulos Hospital in Addis Ababa. The shipment includes surgical stools and other medical supplies to be used for both teaching and patient care.
Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked: “It is an immense honour for all of us at Ethiopian to reach the milestone of 100 aircraft. This milestone is a continuation of our historical aviation leadership role in Africa and a testimony of the successful implementation of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025.”
Ethiopian was the first to avail jet service on the continent back in 1962, and operated the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010, the first African B787-800 Dreamliner and B777-200 freighter in 2012, the first African A350 in 2016 and the first African B787-9 aircraft in 2017.
The airline now operates one of the youngest and most modern 100 aircraft, with an average age of less than five years. Fleet modernisation and expansion is one of the four critical pillars of its Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, in support of its fast expanding network, which has now reached over 110 international destinations covering five continents.
“Our new and cutting-edge fleet composed of B787s and A350s offer unparalleled on-board comfort to our customers and offer the best possible connections when travelling within Africa and between the continent and the rest of the world. This 100-fleet milestone, which we have achieved ahead of our Vision 2025 targets, compels us to revise our plans with a view to phase in more aircraft and further expand our network so as to meet the growing travel needs of our continent and support its economic development and integration by facilitating the flow of investment, trade and tourism. We will continue to connect more and more Africans with their fellow citizens of the continent and with their brothers and sisters in the rest of the world to make life better every single day,” said GebreMariam.
Marty Bentrott, senior vice president sales for Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Russia & Central Asia Boeing Commercial Airplanes on his part said: “The delivery of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as Ethiopian Airlines’ 100th aircraft is a proud moment in our historic partnership. Over the years, Ethiopian has been an aviation pioneer in Africa, flying technologically-advanced airplanes such as the Boeing 777, 787 and soon the 737 MAX as well. It’s an honour to be Ethiopian Airline’s partner. We are also proud to work with Ethiopian to continue a tradition of transporting humanitarian supplies on the delivery flight.”
Over the years, Ethiopian has been investing heavily in fleet modernisation and expansion. Ethiopian was the first African Airline and second only to Japan to operate the B787 Dreamliner in 2012 and the first carrier in Africa to usher in the Airbus A350 XWB in 2016.