By Bob Koigi*
Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed the receipt of its third Airbus A350 XWB.The aircraft is named after Erta Ale, a large basaltic shield volcano located in the Afar Region of north-eastern Ethiopia.
Group CEO TewoldeGebreMariam said, “As part of our continuous fleet modernization program, we have now phased in a third Airbus A350 XWB 900. Both the B-787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A-350 are the most technologically advanced airplanes in the world today and we are highly delighted that we are one of the very few airlines in the world to own and operate both airplanes at their early stage in service.
Ethiopian Airlines customers will have the special privilege of experiencing the superior features and services of both airplanes.
These environmentally green airplanes are enabling us to expand our vast network to new and exciting destinations like Oslo in Norway, Singapore, Chengdu in China, Jakarta in Indonesia, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Antananarivo in Madagascar.
On board this game changing aircraft, passengers will experience the latest high-definition touchscreen personal monitors with even more movies, television series, and audio channels.
Passengers will also enjoy the wider seats and larger windows, the lowest twin engine noise level in the skies, advanced air conditioning technology, and full LED mood lighting. All of these amenities will enhance comfort and reduce jet-lag after a long flight.”
The new aircraft has a configuration of 30 Cloud Nine business, 313 economy class seats. Ethiopian Airlines was the first African Airline to take delivery of Airbus A350 XWB in 2016.
The airline commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to 95 international destinations across five continents.
Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft.
It is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers: Ethiopian Domestic and Regional Airline; Ethiopian International Passenger Airline; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services; and Ethiopian Ground Service.
Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.