Ethiopian Airlines is the latest carrier to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of five Boeing 777X freighters.
The intent to purchase new Boeing 777X freighters will enable the carrier to “meet expanding global cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term sustainable growth”, Ethiopian Airlines outlined in a statement dated March 4, 2022.
The airline currently operates nine older generation Boeing 777 freighters as well as three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters.
“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,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.
Ethiopian Airlines plans to expand its cargo and logistics business and claims to be building Africa’s largest E-commerce Hub Terminal.
The freighter version of Boeing 777X aircraft will have a payload capacity nearly identical to the Boeing 747-400 freighter and a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, according to Boeing.
“Ethiopian Airlines has been at the forefront of Africa’s cargo market for decades, growing its fleet of Boeing freighters and connecting the continent to the flow of global commerce,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “The intent to purchase the new 777-8 Freighter further underscores the value of our latest airplane and ensures Ethiopian will remain a key player in global cargo, providing it with increased capacity, flexibility and efficiency for the future.”
Boeing launched the highly anticipated freighter version of its 777X aircraft in late January 2022. Qatar Airways was the first carrier to place a firm order for 34 777X freighters with options for 16 more.