Ethiopian Airlines becomes the 1st African carrier to order Airbus A350-1000

ETHIOPIAEthiopian Airlines Group, the flag carrier of Ethiopia, Africa’s largest airline group, has upsized four of its A350-900 on order to the largest variant of the A350 Family, the A350-1000, becoming Africa’s first customer for the aircraft.

The aircraft will give the state-owned carrier a competitive edge over its African peers like Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airlines (SAA) in attracting passengers seeking new experiences while saving on fuel costs.

The larger planes can carry about 369 passengers with a maximum limit of 480, while the A350-900 caters to the 300-350 passenger market segment.

“We are delighted over the upsizing of the A350-900 on order to the largest variant, A350-1000, that helps us stay ahead of the curve in technology. We are the technology leaders in the continent introducing the latest technology and fuel-efficient fleet into Africa,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said.

“The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe that the upsizing will be instrumental in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our vast global network across five continents.

“We will continue on keeping ourselves abreast of aviation technology advancements to enhance our service and fulfil customers’ demand.”

This is not the first time that Ethiopian Airlines has debuted an aircraft in Africa – it was also the first African airline to operate the A350-900 when it took delivery of the type in June 2016.

“We are proud of our strong partnership with Ethiopian Airlines – the first airline in Africa to order and operate the A350-900,” said Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa and Middle East.

“In another first, Ethiopian Airlines is once again leading the way in Africa’s aviation sector by introducing the A350-1000, the largest version of the world’s most efficient and technologically advanced passenger aircraft.

“The A350-900 has delivered extraordinary capability, fuel efficiency, and operational reliability of 99.5 percent together with unbeatable operational flexibility and efficiency, from short to ultra-long-range operations.”

The A350-1000 will increase the East African carrier’s capacity and it will be an addition to its modern wide-body fleet. The airline will benefit from a flexible, high-value Family leveraging Airbus’ unprecedented level of commonality and same type rating.

The Airbus A350’s clean-sheet design features state-of-the-art aerodynamics, a carbon-fibre fuselage and wings, plus the most fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency and sustainability for Ethiopian Airlines, with a 25% reduction in fuel-burn and CO2 emissions compared to previous generation twin-aisle aircraft.

By the end of June 2022, the A350 Family had received 940 orders from 52 customers, making it the reference large widebody family for the next decades.

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