Friday, 21 September 2012

Ethiopian Shows Off Dreamline

Following its landmark as the first Africa airline to operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the 777-200LR, Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines has achieved another milestone by becoming the first African airline to operate the Boeing 777 Freighter (Boeing 777F). The aircraft was delivered at the Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on Thursday, September 20. Ethiopian leased its first Boeing 777F from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) with plans to order five more of those. The airline currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, 767, 777, and 787 jets in passenger service and 757, MD-11, 747, and 777 freighters in cargo operations.

 The arrival of the new cargo will consolidate the airline’s network in 15 destinations in Africa, seven in the Middle East and two in Europe. According to the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, “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.” GebreMariam said that “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 Boeing 777

Freighter aircraft has unparalleled performance in its category fleet with its long-range capability, exceptional cargo uplift, special capabilities in temperature control for fresh produce and life science materials, and fuel efficiency. As a result, we will deploy this aircraft on longer routes for carriage of flowers, fruits and vegetables with the aim of expanding and improving our cargo service in support of our national fast growing exports,” GebreMariam said in a statement released by the airline. According to Boeing, the 777 Freighter is the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter. It is based on the Boeing 777-200LR passenger jet and can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 149 kg). With high-cargo density and 10-foot (3.1-meter) interior height capability, the 777 Freighter provides a cargo capacity normally associated with larger aircraft and features the lowest trip cost of any large freighter.

Commenting on the new landmark, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & Caribbean for Commercial airplanes, Van Rex Gallard, said, “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.” “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.” Established as a leading airline in the African aviation industry, Ethiopian Airlines provides services to 69 international destinations spanning four continents. Apart from being a Star Alliance Member, the airline has to its credit multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and its service quality.