Boeing lands first ever African Boeing 777X order from Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777X

Ethiopian Airlines has become the first carrier on the African continent to place an order for the Boeing 777X widebody. 

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines both announced on March 5, 2024, that the East African carrier had purchased eight 777-9 jets, with the option for 12 more in the future.  

Ethiopian Airlines’ selection of the 777X positions the carrier as the first 777X customer in Africa and builds on its landmark 2023 order for 11 787 Dreamliners and 20 737 MAX jets. 

“We are pleased to continue setting the trend in African aviation by adopting cutting-edge technologies to enhance our services and customer satisfaction. Improving our operational performance and commitment to environmental sustainability, the 777-9 offers more flexibility, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew, said.  

The CEO added: “We are grateful to Boeing for their long-standing partnership and support, and we eagerly anticipate flying the 777-9 across the African skies and beyond.” 

Boeing planes make up more than half of Ethiopian Airlines’ current fleet, including 29 787 Dreamliners, 20 777s, three 767s, 27 Next-Generation 737s and 15 737 MAX jets. 

The 777-9, which is yet to be certified, is based on the 777 while using advanced technologies from the 787 Dreamliner family. 

“Ethiopian Airlines marks yet another first in our longstanding partnership by selecting the 777-9 to be the flagship of its growing fleet,” Brad McMullen, Boeing Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing, said. “Building on a relationship that goes back 75 years, we deeply value the unwavering trust and confidence Ethiopian Airlines puts in our airplanes.” 

The 777-9 will support Ethiopian Airlines’ plans to grow and renew its fleet in size, range and passenger and cargo capacity to reach high-demand markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. 

As part of its Vision 2035, Ethiopia Airlines is planning to fly to more than 209 international destinations flying more than 271 modern and eco-friendly aircraft. 

Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook forecasts Africa’s annual air traffic growth at more than 7% through 2042 ─ the third-highest growth rate among global regions and above the global average of approximately 6%.   

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