Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its 100th aircraft, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, leading the way as the first African carrier to reach the feat in fleet expansion and modernization in the continent.
Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Airlines disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
GebreMariam said it was an immense honour for the airline to reach the milestone of 100 aircraft.
He said this was a continuation of Ethiopian’s historical aviation leadership role in Africa and a testimony of the successful implementation of its fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025.
According to him, Ethiopian Airline is the first to avail jet service in the continent back in 1962, and operated the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010.
“We were also the first African airline to acquire B787-800 Dreamliner and B777-200 freighter in 2012 and the first African A350 in 2016 and the first African B787-9 aircraft in 2017.
“Ethiopian now operates one of the youngest and most modern 100 aircraft, with an average age of less than 5 years,” he said.
The ET boss explained that fleet modernisation and expansion was one of the four critical pillars of the airline’s Vision 2025 strategic roadmap.
He said the roadmap was to support its fast expanding network of over 110 international destinations covering five continents.
According to him, Ethiopian’s 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 traveling 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.
“This is 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,” he said.
GebreMariam disclosed that the new aircraft ferried medical equipment from the Seattle-based NGO, Direct Relief, to St Paulos Hospital in Addis Ababa as part of Ethiopian Corporate Social Responsibility commitments.
He said the shipment included surgical stools and other medical supplies to be used for both teaching and patient care.
Marty Bentrott, senior Vice President, Sales for Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Russia & Central Asia Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said, the delivery of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as Ethiopian Airlines’ 100th aircraft was a proud moment in Boeing-Ethiopian historic partnership.
Bentrott said that Ethiopian Airlines had been an aviation pioneer in Africa, flying technologically advanced airplanes such as the Boeing 777 and 787 over the years, adding that the 737 MAX would soon be added.
According to him, it is an honour to be Ethiopian Airline’s partner and we are also proud to work with Ethiopian to continue a tradition of transporting humanitarian supplies on the delivery flight.