Ethiopian Airlines has penned a groundbreaking agreement with aerospace giant Boeing (NYSE: BA ), marking the largest aircraft purchase in Africa's history. The carrier, in a strategic expansion under its Vision 2035 strategy, signed a contract for up to 67 jets during the Dubai Airshow. This deal not only represents a significant leap in the airline's growth plans but also underscores its commitment to enhancing passenger experience and operational efficiency.
The order includes 11 Boeing 787-900 Dreamliners and 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with an option for an additional 36 jets over the next three years. The acquisition is part of Ethiopian Airlines' broader plan to boost its fleet by another 100 planes, as it aims to increase annual revenue to $25 billion and carry 67 million passengers by 2035.
Lema Yadecha, Chief Commercial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines Group, confirmed that this move aligns seamlessly with their ambitious Vision 2035 strategy. The airline's growth targets are aggressive but reflect confidence in the expanding aviation market in Africa and the airline's role in it.
Beyond the new aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines will also embark on cabin modification services for its existing fleet of 787 Dreamliners. The retrofit, conducted in partnership with Boeing and Adient (NYSE: ADNT ) Aerospace, will introduce advanced in-flight entertainment systems and improved seating arrangements, including lie-flat business-class seats.
In addition to the Boeing agreement, Ethiopian Airlines has secured a deal with Airbus for another 11 aircraft, further diversifying its fleet and reinforcing its position as a leading carrier in Africa. The upgrades to both fleet and cabin services are set to significantly enhance the flying experience for Ethiopian Airlines' passengers while ensuring greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise pollution.
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