Ethiopian Airlines (EA) and Boeing have announced a further expansion of EA’s all-Boeing freighter fleet.
As part of a “longstanding” partnership with Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines placed an order for five Boeing 777 Freighters according to a joint statement with Boeing released on May 25, 2022.
“The addition of these five B777 Frieighters into our cargo fleet will enable us to meet the growing demand in our cargo operation. While cementing our partnership with the Boeing Company with new orders, the growth of our freighter fleet takes the capacity and efficiency of our shipment service to the next level,” said Mesfin Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO.
This new freighter capacity with join the airline group’s all-Boeing fleet which currently consists of three 737-800 converted freighters as well as nine Boeing B777-200LRF, according to the statement and commercial fleet information on the airline’s website.
Ethiopian Airlines also has one Boeing B737-800SF on its order book.
The announcement from Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing follows an earlier announcement in March 2022, where both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intent to purchase five 777-8 Freighters.
In a statement dated March 4, 2022, EA outlined that the intent to purchase new Boeing 777X freighters capacity would enable the carrier to “meet expanding global cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term sustainable growth.”
Boeing’s 777 Freighter “is the world’s largest, longest-range twin-engine freighter,” according to the joint statement.
Compared to previous airplane models, the 777 Freighter has 17% less fuel consumption and emissions, an operating range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 km) and a maximum structural payload of 107 tonnes (235,900 pounds).
This enables EA “to connect Africa with 66 dedicated cargo centers throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.”
According to the statement, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services covers 127 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and dedicated freighter services.
Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing commented on the news of the order.
“We value the trust that Ethiopian Airlines places in the 777 Freighter to support their cargo ambitions which will provide them with increased capability and flexibility to their operations,” said Mounir.
Mounir added, “Additional 777 Freighters will enable Ethiopian to capitalize on near-term cargo demand, while positioning the airline for further expansion in the future.”
In addition to the airline’s cargo fleet, EA operates a combined passenger fleet of more than 80 Boeing jets including 737s, 767s, 787s and 777s.