Ethiopian Airlines signs US$2.1bn deal to purchase 20 Boeing aircraft

ethiopian-andreas-flickrAccording to Boeing officials, this is the single largest order made by an African airline. (Image source: Andreas/Flickr) Ethiopian Airlines has signed a US$2.1bn deal to purchase 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

According to officials at Boeing, this is the single largest order made by an African carrier. The deal also includes options and purchase rights for a further 15 737 MAX 8s.

“Today’s order underlines our commitment to our 15-year strategic plan ‘Vision 2025’ in which Ethiopian Airlines will strive to become the leading airline group in Africa, carrying 18mn passengers per annum,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

According to Gebremariam, the 737 MAX will form a key component of Ethiopian Airlines’ strategic vision by enhancing its single-aisle fleet.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets and other improvements to deliver high levels of efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market, stated Boeing officials. The 737 MAX will be 14 per cent more fuel-efficient than the latest Next-Generation 737s, and 20 per cent better than the original Next-Generation 737s, when they first entered service.

Van Rex Gallard, vice president of sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean at Boeing, added, “This historic order for Boeing and our partner Ethiopian Airlines once again positions the carrier at the heart of African aerospace innovation with the acquisition of the 737 MAX.”

The Ethiopian carrier’s partnership with Boeing has existed for more than half a century – with a current fleet of more than 50 Boeing airplanes including Next-Generation 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, 787 Dreamliners and a cargo fleet of 757s, 777 Freighters and MD-11s.

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