Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines and the US plane maker, Boeing, celebrate the 10th anniversary of the delivery of the first B787-8 jetliner.
The first B787 Dreamliner aircraft was delivered to Ethiopian in August 2012. Ethiopian was the first African airline to receive the aircraft and the third airline in the world after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines. Today Ethiopian is operating 27 B787 aircraft.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said that the B787 aircraft helped Ethiopian achieve its vision. “Boeing is our closest partner,” he said.
Currently Ethiopian Airlines is operating 140 aircraft out of which 90 are Boeing planes.
Ethiopian Airlines has utilized the outstanding capabilities of the 787 to sustainably grow its long-haul network across the world, making its hub in Addis Ababa one of the leading gateways for international travel in Africa. Ethiopian Airlines was the first airline on the continent to take delivery of the 787 and today operates a combined fleet of twenty-seven 787-8s and 787-9s that play an integral role in its long-haul fleet.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, Boeing also unveiled an exhibition design for educational exhibits in the mobility hall of the Ethiopian Science Museum. The museum will feature permanent exhibits from Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines, including a 787 Dreamliner simulator experience.
“We are glad to mark a decade since we ushered in the first 787 Dreamliner into Africa, building on our pioneering role in African aviation,” said Mesfin Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO. “The 787 has been instrumental in expanding our long and medium haul flights and redefining on-board comfort for our passengers thanks to its advanced technology and remarkable cabin features.”
Since the delivery of the first 787 in 2011, more than 80 airlines around the world have used the Dreamliner to open more than 335 new non-stop connections around the world. The 787 family has served on more than 1,900 routes, carrying nearly 700 million passengers on more than 3.3 million flights.
“The incredible versatility of the 787 Dreamliner has played a vital role in helping Ethiopian Airlines become Africa’s largest airline,” said Omar Arekat, vice president of Sales and Marketing, Middle East and Africa, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “For more than 75 years, we have partnered with Ethiopian to help them build a great airline using the world’s most modern, efficient, comfortable and sustainable products including the 787.”
According to Boeing, the 787 family delivers unmatched fuel efficiency to operators like Ethiopian Airlines, reducing fuel use and emissions by 25% compared to the airplanes it replaces. In total the 787 has saved 125 billion pounds of carbon emissions since entering service in 2011.
Michael K. Sinnett, VP and General Manager, Program Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that Boeing was pleased to celebrate the 10 anniversary with Africa’s largest airline and reliable customer, Ethiopian Airlines. “We are happy to work with you,” Sinnett said.
Tasew assured executives of Boeing that Ethiopian will continue working with Boeing. “Always stand by us and we will continue working with you,” he told Boeing’s delegates.
Boeing says passengers enjoy many key features on the 787, such as the largest windows of any jet; air that is more humid and pressurized at a lower cabin altitude for greater comfort; large overhead bins with room for everyone’s bag; soothing LED lighting; and technology that senses and counters turbulence for a smoother ride.
Ethiopian has 36 aircraft on its order book.