Ethiopian Airlines Fleet Expansion Parallels Economic Growth
Ethiopian Airlines has announced plans to order 44 new aircraft, effectively doubling its 76-plane fleet in the face of rising air traffic as Africa’s economy sees steady growth. To accommodate the projected rise, the African carrier has implemented “Vision 2025,” a fleet expansion plan that aims to add 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 14 A350-900s, six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, two Boeing 787-9s, and two 777-200F Boeing freighters to its fleet over the next decade. The airline is also in the process of evaluating the Boeing 777X, Airbus 350-1000, and Bombardier Q400 aircraft, with the target to reach a 150-aircraft fleet by 2025.
“Africa’s economy has grown at a rate of more than 4.5 percent per year over the past 10 years despite the global recession. As a result, two-thirds of the countries in Africa are now classified as middle income or higher, according to the World Bank,” Nigusu Worku Wordofa, regional director of the Americas for Ethiopian Airlines, told Avionics Magazine. “In line with this growth, overall air traffic to and from Africa is expected to grow by about 6 percent annually over the next 20 years as new airplane technology increases efficiency and opens new international routes from high-altitude hot airports in Africa.”
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