Ethiopian Airlines has ordered four Boeing 777Fs at list price of $1.1 billion, making it the first African carrier to procure the aircraft. Officials for the airline said that Ethiopian will replace older freighters with these planes to address Africa’s rising cargo demand.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said these freighters — which offer a full payload of 102 tonnes — will boost cargo operations tremendously. They will also help the carrier meet the continent’s influx of imports and exports, highlighted by Africa’s 2.2-percent, year-over-year, surge in freight traffic in August.
“As the largest African cargo carrier operating in some of the fastest-growing trade lanes of the world — between Africa and Europe, Middle East and Asia — the new 777 freighter fleet will significantly enhance our tonnage and range capabilities,” Gebremariam said in a statement. “The proven operational and economical efficiency of these airplanes will reposition Ethiopian Cargo in a stronger place to continue winning in this hyper-competitive market.”
Marlin Dailey, Boeing’s president of Germany, the EU, Northern Europe and Africa, echoes Gebremariam’s statements. Citing Ethiopian Airlines as a standout among African carriers, Dailey said the airline is “well on its way to becoming a global aviation leader.”
“Ethiopian Airlines continues to set the standard in aviation throughout the continent — from being the first African airline to order Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, the first to fly the 777-200LR and now the first to purchase the 777 freighter,” Dailey continued.