Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Ethiopian Airlines have recently announced a significant aircraft order. As part of the agreement, Ethiopian Airlines will purchase 11 787 Dreamliners and 20 737 MAX airplanes, with the potential for an additional 15 and 21 jets, respectively. This landmark deal, signed at the Dubai Airshow, marks the largest-ever purchase of Boeing aircraft in African history.
“We are pleased to announce that Ethiopian Airlines has reached a deal with Boeing to place a firm order for 31 ultra-modern airplanes, with opportunity for 36 additional jets,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew. “This order will enable us to modernize and increase our fleet in support of Ethiopian Airlines’ growth plan and our Vision 2035 Strategy. Through this deal, we have solidified our decades-old exemplary business partnership with Boeing. The 787 Dreamliner and 737 MAX demonstrate Ethiopian Airlines’ environmentally conscious decisions and its commitment to serve passengers with the latest technologically advanced airplanes.”
With a seating capacity of up to 210 passengers, the 737-8 offers a range of 6,480 km (3,500 nautical miles).
Ethiopian’s Recent Order for 787-9 Dreamliner
Ethiopian Airlines has recently placed an order for the fuel-efficient Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner variant. This aircraft family is known for its remarkable 25% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions compared to its predecessors. Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines is expanding its fleet with the addition of the 737-8 model, which offers a 20% decrease in fuel usage and emissions and a 50% reduction in noise footprint. Both aircraft families demonstrate superior environmental performance and prioritize passenger comfort.
The 787-9 can accommodate 296 passengers and can cover a distance of 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles) while providing ample cargo space. Since its introduction in 2011, the 787 family has paved the way for over 380 new nonstop routes worldwide.
Ethiopian Airlines Further Fleet Diversification
By making this new commitment, Ethiopian Airlines aims to further enhance and diversify its fleet, which currently consists of over 80 Boeing jets. The airline already boasts Africa’s largest fleet of Dreamliner aircraft, encompassing a combination of 787-8s and 787-9s. The impending order for the 737 MAX, set to increase the airline’s backlog for this fuel-efficient aircraft to 50, will be officially recorded on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website once finalized.
“Ethiopian Airlines continues its leadership as one of Africa’s preeminent airlines with this landmark commitment to expand their 787 and 737 MAX fleets,” said Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “Ethiopian was the first African airline to take delivery of the 787, and the Dreamliner family continues to play an integral role in its long-haul fleet. With their decades of experience operating our single-aisle and widebody jets, we appreciate Ethiopian Airlines’ confidence in our products and the strength of our relationship after more than 75 years of collaboration.”
Boeing Will Provide Cabin Mods for Existing Dreamliners
Boeing will provide cabin modification services for Ethiopian Airlines’ existing 787 Dreamliners. These comprehensive retrofits will introduce advanced in-flight entertainment systems and new seats across all cabins. Notably, passengers can look forward to the inclusion of lie-flat business-class seats from Boeing’s joint venture, Adient Aerospace.
Boeing Commercial Market Outlook for Africa
According to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook, Africa will require 1,025 aircraft in the next twenty years. More than 70% of these deliveries will be single-aisle jets. The OEM forecasts an air traffic growth rate of 7.4% through 2042, surpassing the global average growth rate of 6.1%. This positions Africa as the third-highest-growing region in air travel.
Ethiopian Airlines Group (Ethiopian) is the fastest-growing airline brand globally and the continent’s largest airline brand. In its seventy-seven years of successful operations, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers. The airline boasts unrivaled efficiency and operational success.
Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the African passenger and cargo network. The airline flies to over 150 domestic and international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents.
Ethiopian’s fleet comprises ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Boeing 737s, 777s, 787s, and Airbus A350-900. The airline also operates Bombardier Dash 8-400 double cabins. The average fleet age is seven years. Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate most of these aircraft.
Ethiopian has been a Star Alliance member since 2011. The airline has enjoyed more than threefold growth in the past ten years.