Seattle, Washington, August 14 - Ethiopian Airlines today took delivery of its 1st Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner dubbed "Africa First". The airline is the 1st in the world outside Japan and ahead of any airline in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East to operate the Dreamliner, the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft in the world. Ethiopian has placed a firm order of 10 Dreamliners and will be receiving 5 of them before December 2012. "The addition of the Boeing 787 to our fleet will enable Ethiopian to provide unparalleled level of on-board comfort to its valued customers in Africa and beyond," said Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde Gebremariam, at the ribbon cutting ceremony held this morning at in Everett, Washington. He further added: "We are proud to be the first airline in the world outside Japan to receive this ultra-modern aircraft. It is a continuation of our pioneering role in African aviation and a testimony of the solid partnership we have forged with Boeing over many decades".
"Today marks not just another milestone for Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines, but a new beginning in our 65-year partnership," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Ethiopian Airlines continues to show their strong leadership in African aviation and their growing presence around the globe. Being the first in Africa and one of the first in the world further confirms their position globally."
The Dreamliner offers passengers greatly enhanced on-board comfort, with significantly reduced noise, higher level of humidity, the biggest windows in the sky and unique lighting system. Ethiopian had previously announced that it would rotate its 1st Dreamliner, "Africa First", primarily on its African routes.
After receiving its 2nd Dreamliner, Ethiopian plans to deploy the aircraft on its Washington D.C. route, starting from mid-September 2012.
Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946 and now the Airline provides dependable services to 69 international destinations spanning four continents. Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,555 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.
Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products. Recently, Ethiopian won gold in the African Airline of the Year 2011/2012 Awards organized by the African Aviation News Portal. Ethiopian also received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the "AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011 Award" for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian also won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and "the Airline of the Year 2009 Award" from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).
With its acquisition of and firm orders for several new modern fleet, the airline is well positioned to pursue aggressively the implementation of its 2025 strategic plan to become the leading aviation group in Africa.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam Group Chief Executive Officer