Ethiopian Airlines has signed an agreement with Air Lease Corporation for two new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which will be leased for twelve years.
The aircraft will be delivered in May and June 2015 according to the agreement, which was announced on April 22.
“We are proud to expand our relationship with Ethiopian Airlines by placing two brand new 777-300ERs into their long haul fleet. These aircraft will enhance their intercontinental operations with leading fuel efficiency and a premier passenger experience,” said Kishore Korde, Air Lease Corporation’s Senior Vice President.
“We are very happy to finalize this deal with our strong partner, Air Lease Corporation. These two new Boeing 777-300ERs are critical for our rapidly expanding non-stop long haul routes. Today, our network of 72 international destinations covers four continents through our main hub in Addis Ababa, offering the most convenient connections to passengers traveling between Africa and the rest of the world. The introduction of these two new Boeing 777s into our young and modern fleet is part of our continuing commitment to afford our customers the best possible on-board long haul experience,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a fleet of Boeing 737, 757, 767, 777, and 787 jets and Bombardier Q400 turboprops in passenger service and a 757, MD11, 747, and 777 in cargo operations. The carrier intends expanding its jet fleet to 112 by 2025.
Ethiopian ordered another 777-200LR from Boeing in July 2012, adding to its five existing 777-200LRs. 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.
On Saturday it scored another first by becoming the world’s first carrier to resume flying the 787 Dreamliner, landing the first commercial flight since the global fleet was grounded three months ago following incidents of overheating in the batteries providing auxiliary power.
U.S. regulators approved a new battery design last week, clearing the way for installation and a resumption of Dreamliner flights by airlines around the world.
Ethiopian Airlines previously said its fleet did not suffer any of the technical glitches experienced by other Dreamliner jets, though it withdrew the planes from service to undergo the changes required by the FAA.
The grounding of the Dreamliner fleet has cost Boeing an estimated $600 million, halted deliveries of the aircraft and forced some airlines to lease alternative planes.