Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Executives of Airbus are trying to sell more Airbus aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines, one of the fastest growing African carriers. Executives of Airbus told The Reporter that they had presented the Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft to the management of Ethiopian. Crawford Hamilton, director of the A330 programme, told The Reporter that executives of Ethiopian were evaluating the A330 aircraft. Hamilton said last November an airbus technical team made a technical presentation to senior officials of Ethiopian in Addis Ababa. “The A330 is a very good long-range aircraft,” says Hamilton. “Ethiopian Airlines is one of the leading airlines in Africa. It is a reliable customer. It is self-sufficient. So we are trying to sell a very good aircraft to a very good airline.”
Airbus has recorded over 1,100 orders for the A330 family with more than 780 aircraft currently flying with more than 118 customers and operators worldwide. In addition to passenger aircraft, the A330 family includes freighter, VIP and military/tanker variants. The passenger A330 aircraft can carry up to 335 passengers while the cargo version can haul 70 tons.
One of the leading carriers in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines has for the first time in its 65-year history ordered Airbus aircraft. For long, Boeing has completely dominated the long haul fleet of Ethiopian. However, with the view to having a mixed fleet, the management of Ethiopian placed firm orders for 12 A350XWB valued at 3 billion dollars at least prices. The Airline confirmed its order at the Dubai Show in 2009.
The Airbus A350XWB is a new wide-body aircraft that competes with Boeing’s Dreamliner aircraft. The A350 is a modern aircraft made of carbon composite material. The first major A350XWB airframe section was delivered to the A350XWB Final Assembly Line on 23 December 2011. The first A30XWBs are expected to roll out of the final assemblyline in 2013-2014. Airbus anticipates to deliver the A350s to Ethiopian Airlines in 2017.
Ethiopian is growing at a rate of 20 percent every year. As the airlines is opening new routes very often, it is looking for more aircraft. The national flag carrier currently operates 48 aircraft and hopes to increase the number to 115 by 2025.
Source: Ethiopian Reporter