Ethiopian Airlines delivery of first 787-9 Dreamliner. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines)
Cape Town - Ethiopian Airlines has much to celebrate in the past year.
Apart from connecting North America to Zimbabwe with the launch of a new route to Victoria Falls, it increased its flight frequency to Cape Town and expanded its code-share service agreement with SAA.
Now, Ethiopian Airlines celebrates another milestone - this time together with Boeing, as the airline became the first carrier in Africa to operate the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner through an agreement with AerCap.
Ethiopian Airline's newest 787 touched down in Addis Ababa following a non-stop 13 444 km delivery flight from Boeing's Everett facility in Washington.
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Ethiopian Airlines became Africa's first carrier to fly the 787-8 in 2012, and introduced the 777-200LR (Longer Range), 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 777 Freighter.
"We are proud to celebrate yet another first with the introduction of the cutting-edge 787-9 into our young and fast-growing fleet," says Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.
"Today, the 787 is the core of our fleet with 20 aircraft in service. Our investment in the latest technology airplanes is part of our Vision 2025 strategy and our commitment to our esteemed customers to offer complete on-board comfort. We will continue to invest in the most advanced aircraft to give our customers the best possible travel experience," adds GebreMariam.
According to Boeing, the 787 Dreamliner is the "most innovative and efficient airplane family flying today".
"Since 2011, more than 600 Dreamliners have entered commercial services, flying almost 200 million people on more than 560 unique routes around the world, saving an estimated 19 billion pounds of fuel."
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AerCap President and Chief Commercial Officer, Philip Scruggs, says that "AerCap is very proud to deliver to Ethiopian Airlines their first 787-9 aircraft, as the airline continues to lead the way in African aviation."
"The 787-9 will complement Ethiopian's existing fleet of 787-8 aircraft, bringing further operational efficiencies and scope to enhance their existing network."
Humanitarian delivery flight
Ethiopian Airlines conducted its 32nd Humanitarian Delivery Flight as part of the 787-9 delivery, and in conjunction with the non-profit Seattle Alliance Outreach, it transported donations by medical organisations in the US to Black Lion Hospital and St Paul Hospital in Ethiopia.
"We are very happy to continue our longstanding partnership with Boeing to deliver medical equipment and supplies to public hospitals in Ethiopia, which benefit the society at-large," says GebreMariam.
"No airline has provided such sustained support to the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the African continent. It is a testament to our commitment to serve the community as a responsible corporate organisation," adds GebreMariam.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Touchdown! Ethiopian Airlines launches new route to Vic Falls, connecting US to Zim
- #AfriTravel: SAA expands codeshare route with Ethiopian Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines ups flight frequency to Cape Town