Marking the high profile event of the first launch of the B787 on December 15, 2009, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Ato Girma Wake, promptly sent a congratulatory message to The Boeing Company in Seattle in which he expressed his warm sentiment of joy and optimism on the successful launch of the Dreamliner. He said, “Ethiopian has always been and continues to be a strong supporter of the B787 program beginning from the date of its design inception all the way to where it is now. On behalf of the entire force of Ethiopian and myself, I convey my sincere congratulations to the Boeing Global Team of men and women who have worked hard to turn the long awaited program into reality”.
The newest member of the Boeing family of commercial jetliners took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington at 10:27 am and landed safely at 1:33 pm at the Seattle’s Boeing Field. The flight marks the beginning of a flight test program that will see six airplanes flying nearly around the clock and around the globe.
The 787 Dreamliner will offer passengers a better flying experience and provide airline operators greater efficiency to better serve the point-to-point routes and additional frequencies passengers prefer. The technologically-advanced 787 will use 20 percent less fuel than today’s airplanes of comparable size, provide airlines with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity and present passengers with innovations that include a new interior environment with cleaner air, larger windows, more stowage space, improved lighting and other passenger preferred conveniences.
Over 55 customers around the globe have ordered the 787, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history. Ethiopian has ten (10) B787s on order and is eagerly awaiting its first delivery by mid 2011.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the recent addition of flight services to Mombasa and Monrovia, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 37 cities in Africa and a total of 58 international destinations spanning throughout four continents.
Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 on November 25, 2009 and “Airline of the Year Award” from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) on November 24, 2009, bringing the total Awards honored since January 2009 to five.
In August, 2008, Ethiopian won “The 2008 Corporate Achievement Award” of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry.
Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.
Ethiopian was the winner of the ‘2008 Best Airline in Africa Award’ at the African Travel Award ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, for its excellent network and convenient connections in Africa.
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Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam Group Chief Executive Officer