The two companies announced the order on Thursday, which is valued at around US$276 million at list price.
"The 777-200LR has been a fantastic airplane for Ethiopian Airlines," said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "The performance and range of the airplane allowed us to open direct routes from Washington D.C to Addis Ababa as well as Addis Ababa to Beijing, Toronto and other long range routes.
“In line with our Vision 2025, we plan to provide more and more non-stop long-haul flights to connect east, west, north and south using the strategic location of our Addis Ababa hub. This additional airplane will let us take full advantage of the performance and economics of this great airplane."
"Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines have been partners for more than 65 years and we've seen the airline grow to become a leader in African aviation and beyond," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"The airline continues to invest in its fleet to grow the airline, increase profitability and provide the best products in the sky for their valued customers. Boeing is proud of our relationship and we look forward to continuing to grow that bond for many years to come."
Ethiopian Airlines was the first African airline to operate the 777-200LR, the first to order the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the first to order the 777 Freighter.
Ethiopian has around 40 aircraft on order as it implements its vigorous fleet renewal programme. It will be the first African airline to receive the Dreamliner, and plans to take delivery of the first of ten examples in August this year. It will use the type to expand its existing destinations as well as its presence in more markets worldwide, including new destinations in the Far East.
The airline currently operates eleven 767-300s, with eight of the type slated for retirement by 2016. It also operates five 777-200LRs, eight 757-200ERs, five 737-700s, five 737-800s and eight Bombardier Q400s. For cargo operations, Ethiopian flies a Boeing 757, MD11 and 747. It has six 777 freighters on order.
The carrier intends expanding its jet fleet to 112 by 2025. In February this year Bombardier announced that Ethiopian Airlines had ordered five Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners. Two of the five will be operated by Ethiopian Airlines and three by its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo. The order will expand Ethiopian’s Q400 NextGen fleet to 13.
Ethiopian Airlines bought the Q400s to replace its five Fokker 50 regional turboprops, which were recently sold to Fortran Aviation Limited. Gebremariam earlier said the aircraft were sold so that the airline could buy new aircraft. He added that the aircraft were transferred at the end of last year.
Ethiopian Airlines ordered eight Q400s in November 2008 for US$192 million. The first aircraft arrived in March 2010 and began replacing the carrier’s Fokker 50s.
In December 2011 Ethiopian joined the Star Alliance and plans to strengthen its route network in Singapore, South Korea and China. It is also planning to open new routes to the United States and Canada.
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