It was a big day for African aviation this week as Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The Ethiopian Airlines 787 departed the Boeing runway yesterday ready to go on show over the next few days.
“Today begins the first day in a new era of flying for our passengers and brings us even closer to our vision for the future, Vision 2025,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.
“We are pleased to be the first airline in the world outside Japan to receive this technologically advanced aircraft. We have been waiting for this airplane and now that we officially have it and will show it to the world, I can say with pride, it was worth the wait. This airplane is going to move Ethiopian Airlines to the forefront of aviation leadership around the globe.”
The 787 Dreamliner is composed of light-weight composites and features numerous system, engine and aerodynamic advancements making it more efficient to operate compared with its competition. It is the first mid-sized airplane capable of flying long-range routes, enabling airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by passengers.
“Today marks not just another milestone for Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines, but a new beginning in our 65-year partnership,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“Ethiopian Airlines continues to show their strong leadership in African aviation and their growing presence around the globe. Being the first in Africa and one of the first in the world further confirms their position globally.”
After taking delivery, Ethiopian will fly its Dreamliner to Washington D.C. where the aircraft will be on display and is expected to be visited by VIP guests and media.
Ethiopian Airways has nine more 787 Dreamliners remaining on order. The airline 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 Airlines currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, 767 and 777, and now 787 airplanes in passenger service and a 757, MD11 and 747 in cargo operations.