Africa’s aviation giant Ethiopian Airlines Group has increased its partnership with Airbus with a new commitment to purchase up to 17 A350-900s.
The national flag carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 11 additional Airbus A350-900s with six more purchase rights to be added to its existing fleet.
Ethiopian Airlines unveiled the new Airbus order the day after its officials agreed to the largest-ever purchase of Boeing airplanes in African history.
The agreement with Airbus will also position Ethiopian as Africa’s biggest A350 customer, and takes the Airlines’ total order book and commitment for the A350 to 33, including four A350-1000s.
The signing of the MoU took place at the Dubai Airshow in the presence of Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer.
“We are excited to place this commitment for 11 Airbus A350-900s,” Group CEO Mesfin said. “As a customer-focused airline, we are particularly excited for these fleet as it offers extra comfort to passengers with its features like the quietest cabin in its class and ambient lighting.”
“We are keen to expand our fleet size, acquiring the latest technology aircraft to offer a convenient and memorable onboard experience to our esteemed passengers,” he added
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a fleet of 20 A350-900s and with the new commitment, it will confirm its position as Africa’s biggest A350 customer.
Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Scherer said, “Ethiopian Airlines is a great example of how to leverage the exceptional values of the A350 for long-haul travel, playing on the benefits of Ethiopia’s unique geographical position that offers the fastest connections between China and Latin America.
“We are delighted to further strengthen Ethiopian Airlines fleet, and through this, continue the great relationship we have built up together.”
The A350 is the world’s most modern and efficient widebody aircraft and the long-range leader in the 300-410 seater category, flying efficiently from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 9,700nm. The planemaker has won over 1,000 orders for the jet from leading carriers from around the globe.