August 17, 2012
The delivery of the first of 10 Boeing 787s destined for Ethiopian Airlines is the latest part of a fleet expansion that will increase the carrier’s current fleet of 49 aircraft to 120 by 2025 and facilitate a 20-30% annual growth, CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told Aviation Week during an Aug. 15 delivery ceremony at Washington Dulles International Airport.
According to the CEO, this fleet expansion includes nine Boeing 737-800s scheduled for delivery in the coming months as well as a Boeing 777-200LR ordered in July 2011 that will join the five 777-200LRs now in service. The airline also has ordered 12 A350s tentatively scheduled to enter service from 2017.
The last of the 10 787s will be delivered in 2014.
Ethiopian currently uses its 777-200LRs on the Dulles-Addis Ababa route, and will initially use the 787 on African services. However, it will assign 787s to the Dulles route mid-September with the arrival of a second 787.
Gebremariam said that the third and fourth 787s delivered will begin direct service to Beijing, China.
Ethiopian’s 787s are configured with 270 seats in two classes—246 in coach and 24 in business.