Boeing yesterday delivered the first 777 Freighter to Ethiopian Airlines, marking the first 777F to be operated by an African carrier. The aircraft is being leased to Ethiopian Airlines from GECAS.
“This delivery marks another special day for Ethiopian Airlines and all of Ethiopia. We are not only becoming the first African carrier operating Boeing’s 777 Freighter, today we are also taking our cargo operations to a new level and into a new era,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “As the largest African cargo carrier operating in some of the fastest growing trade lanes of the world – between Africa and Europe, Middle East, and Asia – the new 777 Freighter fleet will significantly enhance our tonnage and range capabilities.”
The 777 Freighte is based on the 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger aircraft and can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometres) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 149 kg).
“We are proud to deliver another first in African aviation to Ethiopian Airlines as they continue to show the world they are a leader in aviation,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & Caribbean for Commercial airplanes. “The proven operational and economical efficiency of the 777F will reposition Ethiopian Cargo in a stronger place to continue winning in this hyper competitive market.”
Ethiopian Airlines was the first airline in the world outside of Japan to operate the 787 Dreamliner and the first African airline to operate the 777-200LR in 2010. They currently operate an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, 767, 777, and now 787 aircraft in passenger service and a 757, MD11, 747, and this new 777 in cargo operations.