DUBAI — Ethiopian Airlines (ET), the national carrier of Ethiopia, has agreed to order 11 787 Dreamliner and 20 737 MAX airplanes from Boeing. The agreement also includes an opportunity for ET to order an additional 15 787 Dreamliners and 21 737 MAX airplanes in the future.
The Ethiopian flag carrier has chosen the Boeing 787-9 variant of the Dreamliner family, which offers a 25% reduction in fuel use and emissions compared to the airplanes it replaces. Additionally, the airline is adding the Boeing 737-8 model, which provides a 20% reduction in fuel use and emissions and creates a 50% smaller noise footprint. Both aircraft families offer improved environmental performance and passenger comfort.
The Boeing 787-9 can carry up to 296 passengers and has a range of 14,010 km (7,565 nautical miles). It also has substantial cargo capacity. The 737-8, on the other hand, can carry up to 210 passengers depending on the configuration and has a range of up to 6,480 km (3,500 nautical miles).
The ET order is the third one for the American planemaker on Day 2 of DAS2023 and represents the largest-ever purchase of Boeing aircraft in African history.
Dreamliner Cabin Retrofit Agreement
In addition to the aircraft order, Boeing and ET have agreed to collaborate on cabin modification services for the airline’s existing 787 Dreamliners
The retrofits will enhance the passenger experience with advanced in-flight entertainment and new seats in all cabins, including lie-flat business-class seats from Boeing’s joint venture, Adient Aerospace.
Comments from Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing Officials
Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, expressed his satisfaction with the deal, stating that it will enable the airline to modernize and expand its fleet in support of its growth plan and Vision 2035 strategy. He also emphasized the airline’s commitment to environmentally conscious decisions and serving passengers with the latest technologically advanced airplanes.
Brad McMullen, Boeing’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, commended Ethiopian Airlines for its commitment to expanding its 787 and 737 MAX fleets. He highlighted the airline’s status as the first African carrier to receive the 787 and emphasized the strength of the relationship between Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines, which spans over 75 years.
With this new commitment, ET aims to further strengthen and diversify its fleet, which currently consists of more than 80 Boeing jets. The airline already operates Africa’s largest Dreamliner fleet, including a mix of 787-8s and 787-9s. The additional 737 MAX order will bring the airline’s backlog for this fuel-efficient jet to 50.
Furthermore, according to aviationvalues.com, the Boeing backlog sees the 737-8 as the dominant type of MAX family. Included in the tally is the 737 8-200, which incorporates an extra pair of exits to enable higher-density seating of up to 202 passengers. The 737-8 backlog overshadows the -9 by more than an order of magnitude—44% vs. 4%, respectively.
According to Boeing, the finalized order will be posted on its Orders & Deliveries website.
Featured image: Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines today announced the carrier has agreed to order 20 737 MAX airplanes, with an opportunity for 21 additional jets. Image: Boeing