By Chinelo Obogo
Ethiopian Airlines and its longstanding partner, Boeing Inc. has announced that the carrier is further expanding its all-Boeing freighter fleet with an order for five 777 Freighters (current freighters).
Boeing’s market-leading 777 Freighter is the world’s largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter currently flying with 17 per cent lower fuel use and emissions compared to prior airplanes. Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a fleet of nine 777 freighters, utilising the range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 km) and maximum structural payload of 107 tonnes (235,900 lb) to connect Africa with 66 dedicated cargo centers throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services covers 127 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and dedicated freighter services.
Speaking on the deal, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, said: “The addition of these five B777 Freighters into our cargo fleet will enable us to meet the growing demand in our cargo operation. While cementing our partnership with the Boeing Company with new orders, the growth of our freighter fleet takes the capacity and efficiency of our shipment service to the next level. We always strive to serve our customers with the latest technology aircraft the aviation industry could offer. Our Africa’s largest cargo terminal coupled with fuel efficient freighters and well trained cargo handling professionals will enable our customers get the best quality shipment service. Customers can rely on Ethiopian for wide-ranging cargo services across five continents.”
While Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing, Ihssane Mounir. said: “We value the trust that Ethiopian Airlines places in the 777 Freighter to support their cargo ambitions which will provide them with increased capability and flexibility to their operations. Additional 777 Freighters will enable Ethiopian to capitalize on near-term cargo demand, while positioning the airline for further expansion in the future.” In early March 2022, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines also announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the intent to purchase five 777-8 Freighters, the industry’s newest, most capable and most fuel-efficient twin-engine freighter. Ethiopian Airlines also operates three 737-800 converted freighters, as well as a combined passenger fleet of more than 80 Boeing jets including 737s, 767s, 787s and 777s.