Ethiopian Airlines has ordered 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft worth $2.1 billion at list prices, and has options and purchase rights for another 15 of the type in the largest single Boeing order by number from an African carrier.
The order was announced on September 20. It was previously listed as being for an unidentified customer.
“Today’s order underlines our commitment to our 15-year strategic plan, ‘Vision 2025’, in which Ethiopian will strive to become the leading airline group in Africa carrying 18 million passengers per annum,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, during a visit to the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa National Forum in Chicago. “The 737 MAX will form a key component of that strategic vision, enhancing our single-aisle fleet and keeping us at the forefront of African aviation.”
The 737 MAX incorporates CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver greater efficiency – the 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service, according to Boeing. The 737 MAX has a total of 2,294 orders from 47 customers worldwide.
“This historic order for Boeing and our partner Ethiopian once again positions the carrier at the heart of African aerospace innovation with the acquisition of the 737 MAX,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, speaking in Chicago. “Throughout the years, Ethiopian has consistently led the way in introducing new airplane types to passengers across Africa. Today’s record order signals its commitment to continue that tradition.”
Ethiopian currently serves more than 83 destinations across five continents from its base at Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian flag carrier’s partnership with Boeing has existed for more than half a century, with a current fleet of more than 50 Boeing aircraft that includes Next-Generation 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, 787 Dreamliners and a cargo fleet of 757s, 777 Freighters and MD-11s.