Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the intent to purchase five 777-8 twin-engine freighters.
The MoU will enable Ethiopian Airlines to meet expanding global cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term sustainable growth.
Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said: “Consistent with our history of aviation technology leadership in Africa, we are pleased to sign this MoU with our longstanding partner Boeing, which will make us join select group of launch customer airlines for the fleet. In our vision 2035, we are planning to expand our Cargo and Logistics business to be one of the largest global multimodal logistics provider in all continents. To this effect we are increasing our dedicated freighter fleet with the latest technology, fuel efficient and environment-friendly airplanes of the 21st century. We have also started the construction of the largest E-commerce Hub Terminal in Africa.”
Aircraft will be “instrumental in growth agenda”
He added: “The new 777-8 Freighters will be instrumental in this long journey of growth agenda. Today, our air cargo services cover more than 120 international destinations around the world with both belly-hold capacity and dedicated freighter services.”
Boeing launched the new 777-8 Freighter in January and has already booked 34 firm orders for the model, which features the advanced technology from the new 777X family. The aircraft’s payload capacity is nearly identical to the 747-400 Freighter and a 30 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, enabling a more sustainable and profitable business for operators.
“Ethiopian Airlines has been at the forefront of Africa’s cargo market for decades, growing its fleet of Boeing freighters and connecting the continent to the flow of global commerce,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “The intent to purchase the new 777-8 Freighter further underscores the value of our latest airplane and ensures Ethiopian will remain a key player in global cargo, providing it with increased capacity, flexibility and efficiency for the future.”
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates nine 777 Freighters, connecting Africa with more than 40 cargo centres throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Americas. The carrier’s fleet also includes three 737-800 Boeing converted freighters and a combined commercial fleet of more than 80 Boeing jets includin
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g 737s, 767s, 787s and 777s.