By Wole Oyebade
Ethiopian Airlines (ET) is set to take delivery of a Boeing 787-900, its 100th aircraft.
The Ethiopian national carrier, ET, is the first African airline to operate 100 aircraft fleet, thus maintaining its pioneering and leadership position in all aspects of aviation services in the continent.
Ethiopian Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tewolde GebreMariam, said it was an immense honour for all at Ethiopian, to reach the milestone of 100 aircraft.
GebreMariam said the milestone is a continuation of their historical aviation leadership role in Africa and a testimony of the successful implementation of their fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025. As at December 2017, the targets have already been achieved and even surpassed.
Ethiopian was the first to avail jet service in the continent back in 1962, and operated the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010, the first African B787-800 Dreamliner and B777-200 freighter in 2012 and the first African A350 in 2016 and the first African B787-9 aircraft in 2017.
Ethiopian now operates one of the youngest and most modern 100 aircraft, with an average age of less than five years.
GebreMariam said: “Fleet modernisation and expansion is one of the four critical pillars of our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, in support of our fast expanding network, which has now reached over 110 international destinations covering five continents.
“This 100 fleet milestone, which we have achieved ahead of our Vision 2025 targets, compels us to revise our plans with a view to phase in more aircraft and further expand our network so as to meet the growing travel needs of our continent and support its economic development and integration by facilitating the flow of investment, trade and tourism.
“We will continue to connect more and more Africans with their fellow citizens of the continent and with their brothers and sisters in the rest of the world to make life better every single day.”
Ethiopian operates a mix of state-of-the-art aircraft with an average fleet age of five years. The Airline has 5 more Boeing 787-900 and 16 Airbus A350 airplanes on order, among others. Ethiopian was the first African Airline and second only to Japan to operate the B787 Dreamliner in 2012 and the first carrier in Africa to usher with the Airbus A350 XWB in 2016.