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Ethiopian Airlines Orders First Airbus A350-1000 in Africa

Ethiopian Airlines has upsized four of their A350-900s on order to the larger A350-1000 variant, becoming Africa’s first customer for the aircraft. The carrier has already ordered 22 A350-900s, 16 of which have been delivered.

Rendering of Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-1000 - Courtesy Airbus

On Thursday (July 28, 2022), Airbus announced that Ethiopian Airlines Group has upsized four of their A350-900s on order to the larger A350-1000 variant. The carrier has already ordered 22 A350-900s, 16 of which have been delivered. With the upsizing to the A350-1000, Ethiopian Airlines’ order backlog now consists of four A350-1000s and two A350-900s. The larger aircraft will increase the airline’s capacity as they are added to the carrier's modern widebody fleet. Ethiopian will also benefit from a flexible, high-value Family, leveraging Airbus’ unprecedented level of commonality and same type rating.

In Thursday’s announcement, Ethiopian Airlines Group’s CEO, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, said,

“We are delighted over the upsizing of the A350-900 on order to the largest variant, A350-1000, that helps us stay ahead of the curve in technology. We are the technology leaders in the continent introducing the latest technology and fuel-efficient fleet into Africa. The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe that the upsizing will be instrumental in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our vast global network across five continents. We will continue on keeping ourselves abreast of aviation technology advancements to enhance our service and fulfil customers’ demand.”

Also commenting on the order upsizing, Airbus’ President – Africa and the Middle East, Mikail Houari, said,

”We are proud of our strong partnership with Ethiopian Airlines - the first airline in Africa to order and operate the A350-900. In another first, Ethiopian Airlines is once again leading the way in Africa’s aviation sector by introducing the A350-1000, the largest version of the world’s most efficient and technologically advanced passenger aircraft. The A350-900 has delivered extraordinary capability, fuel efficiency, and operational reliability of 99.5 percent together with unbeatable operational flexibility and efficiency, from short to ultra-long-range operations.”

The Airbus A350’s clean sheet design features state-of-the-art aerodynamics, a carbon-fiber fuselage and wings, along with fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. These technologies combine to deliver superior operational efficiency, including a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions compared to previous generation widebody aircraft. As of June 30, 2022, Airbus had received 940 A350 Family aircraft orders from 52 customers worldwide.

With over 75 years of operations, Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest growing airline in Africa. The carrier commands the largest share of Pan-African passenger and cargo service and operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world. Ethiopian serves over 130 destinations across five continents with a fleet of ultra-modern fuel efficient aircraft including Airbus A350s, Boeing 787-8/9 Dreamliners, Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 777-200LRs, Boeing 777-200 Freighters and De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s. The airline’s fleet has an average age of seven years and Ethiopian was the first African carrier to operate all of the previously mentioned aircraft types.

Source(s): Airbus, Ethiopian Airlines

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