Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Boeing 787-9. Ethiopian is leasing the Dreamliner through an agreement with AerCap.
Ethiopian’s newest 787 touched down in Addis Ababa following a nonstop 8,354 mile (13,444 km) delivery flight from Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility. Ethiopian becomes the first carrier in Africa to operate the 787-9 and extends a tradition of setting aviation milestones. Ethiopian became Africa’s first carrier to fly the 787-8 in 2012, and similarly 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,” said Mr. 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.”
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.
“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,” said AerCap President and Chief Commercial Officer Philip Scruggs. “The 787-9 will complement Ethiopian’s existing fleet of 787-8 aircraft, bringing further operational efficiencies and scope to enhance their existing network. We thank our friends and partners at Ethiopian Airlines for their continued confidence in AerCap and wish them every success as they continue to optimize their fleet.”
“We are pleased to see the 787-9 enter into Ethiopian’s growing Boeing fleet,” said Marty Bentrott, senior vice president sales for Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Russia & Central Asia Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 787-9 will further enhance the Ethiopian network with its incredible range and capacity.”
Ethiopian Airlines conducted its 32nd Humanitarian Delivery Flight as part of the 787-9 delivery. In conjunction with the non-profit Seattle Alliance Outreach, Ethiopian transported goods donated by medical organizations in the U.S. 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,” said GebreMariam. “This is our 32nd humanitarian flight over the course of the last few years. 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 organization.”
Ethiopian Airlines operates a Boeing fleet of 737, 767, 777, and 787 airplanes in passenger service and six 777 and two 757-200 airplanes in cargo operations.