Ethiopian Airlines is set to bolster its financial performance by securing eight Boeing 777X, the latest fuel-efficient variant from the US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing, with an option for an additional 12 aircraft.

Despite the 2019 Boeing 737 Max accident that claimed 157 lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines has emerged as a significant client for Boeing, signaling the carrier’s confidence in the manufacturer’s offerings.

The order for eight Boeing 777X aircraft highlights Ethiopian Airlines’ move to augment its fleet size and achieve cost reductions.

Ethiopian Airline Aircraft. Photo (ET)
Ethiopian Airline Aircraft. Photo (ET)

At last year’s Dubai Airshow, Ethiopian Airlines committed to 11 787 Dreamliners and 20 737 MAX jets. The airline’s preference for the 787-9 variant, part of the Dreamliner family, is notable for its capability to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 25 percent compared to its predecessors.

Post the 737 Max tragedy, Ethiopian Airlines maintains confidence in Boeing’s corrective measures, affirming that design flaws have been rectified. This affirmation underscores the carrier’s trust in the safety and reliability of the 737 MAX aircraft.

Ethiopian Airlines, along with other global carriers, had initially relied on the narrow-body 737 Max to enhance fuel efficiency and increase revenue.

Boeing’s 777X programme, while attracting significant attention with hundreds of orders worldwide, has faced five years of delays.

Ethiopian Airlines is poised to make history as Africa’s first carrier to order the Boeing 777X, a testament to the airline’s commitment to adopting advanced aviation technologies.

Operating Africa’s largest Dreamliner fleet, Ethiopian Airlines currently incorporates a mix of 787-8s and 787-9s.

gandae@businessdayafrica.org