Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The first Ethiopian Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner aircraft yesterday morning landed at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
A huge crowd comprising employees of Ethiopian Airlines, board members, members of the diplomatic community and the media attended the event. Ethiopian Capt. Kaleb Mamo, who commanded the aircraft, said the flight all the way from Washington DC Dulles International Airport to Addis Ababa was very exciting. Capt. Kaleb, 49, married and a father of six, is the first Ethiopian pilot to fly Ethiopian Dreamliner. Last December, Capt Desta Zeru, flight operations head with Ethiopian, was the first African pilot to fly the Dreamliner test aircraft from China to Ethiopia.
Capt. Kaleb and Capt. Desta brought the new jetliner with Boeing’s test pilots. The aircraft was delivered to Ethiopian on Wednesday in Seattle Everett. The aircraft flew to Washington DC the following day where it was visited by US senators, executives of the World Bank, IMF and the Ethiopian community. The US EXIM Bank supported Ethiopian by providing one billion dollarsloan guarantee for the purchase of the 10 Dreamliners that Ethiopian ordered in 2005. The banks-ING, JP Morgan and Emerging Africa extended the loan to Ethiopian.
“The aircraft is ‘fantastic’ said Capt. Kaleb who served Ethiopian for 26 years – 21 years as a cockpit crew and five years as a technician. He joined the airline as a technician but switched to the pilot training school after five years. “I wanted to be a pilot. But I also like the engineering part. That is why I first became an aircraft maintenance technician.” Read more.