(eTN) – Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is expected to take delivery either late next month or in early November of the first of several B777-200LR, Boeing’s current state-of-the-art long distance wide-body aircraft. This enhanced version, first flown commercially in 2006, will allow ET to fly from their Addis Ababa base nonstop to literally any destination across the globe without having to stop for fuel, making it an ideal aircraft for the airline’s flights to the United States and also to the Far East.
This first delivery of several of these aircraft on order to ET will also be a first for the African continent, since the other B777 models used, for instance by Kenya Airways, are the older type of aircraft. A second craft is, according to the same source, due for delivery before the end of 2010 and more are scheduled for 2011 and beyond.
The aircraft will operate with a two-class configuration of 287 seats in economy and 34 in business, besides which cargo capacity will also benefit from the improved inflight economics of a lighter aircraft structure and a reduced fuel burn.
In a related development, it was also learned that the airline had planted over 7 million trees over the past two years as part of their environmental policies, and a pledge is in place that for every passenger carried, a tree would be planted by Ethiopian.