Ethiopian Airlines the second to order the recently launched B777-8F

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Photo: Boeing

Ethiopian Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing to purchase five 777-8 freighters, becoming the second airline to launch the recently launched freighter.

The order will enable Ethiopian Airlines to meet expanding global air cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term growth.

Boeing launched the new 777-8 freighter in January with Qatar Airways as the launch customer. Qatar ordered 34 of the aircraft with options for a further 16 in a deal that is valued at more than $20bn based on list prices.

Ethiopian Airlines currently operates nine 777 freighters. The carrier’s fleet also includes three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters and a combined commercial fleet of more than 80 Boeing jets including 737s, 767s, 787s and 777s.

Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines Group, said: “In our vision 2035, we are planning to expand our Cargo and Logistics business to be one of the largest global multimodal logistics providers in all continents, to this effect, we are increasing our dedicated freighter fleet with the latest technology, fuel-efficient and environment-friendly airplanes of the 21st century. We have also started the construction of the largest E-commerce Hub Terminal in Africa.

“The new 777-8 Freighters will be instrumental in this long journey of growth agenda. Today, our air cargo services cover more than 120 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and dedicated Freighter services.”

Boeing said the 777-8 twin-engine freighter features advanced technology from the new 777X family and the performance of the 777 freighter. With payload capacity nearly identical to the 747-400 freighter and a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, the 777-8 freighter is expected to enable a more sustainable and profitable business for operators.

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