ETHIOPIAN AND AIRBUS SIGN NEW ORDER FOR 10 MORE A350-900’S
(Posted 21st June 2017)
Ethiopian Airline’s expansion continues unabated as the airline, on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, signed a follow on order for the Airbus A350, adding more of the world’s most fuel efficient aircraft in the skies today.
Last June did Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to take delivery of the state of the art A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircraft on order. Today does Ethiopian operate a fleet of four A350′ so far delivered, two of which are on lease. Today’s order tops-up the Addis Ababa-based carrier’s fleet, enabling it to pursue its growth strategy and objectives over the coming years.
Ethiopian Airlines’ A350-900s are configured in a two class layout seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. ‘Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in cabin is one of the four pillars in our 15 years strategic road map, vision 2025, and this order placement for additional A350’s is one component of this strategy. The performance, operational and cost efficiencies we have achieved with our initial A350-900s have resulted in these additional ten aircraft order placement and thereby suffice our ever-expanding global network. We will deploy the additional aircraft on our long haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia‘ explained Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines at the signing ceremony.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers in his response then added: ‘Ethiopian Airlines’ repeat order is a resounding endorsement of the A350, its suitability, flexibility and unmatched economics. We are delighted that the innovative aircraft – the A350 – is closely associated with the world’s fastest growing and profitable carriers‘.
The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design and materials, including its carbon-fibre fuselage and wings. It is powered by new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these advanced technological features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions in addition to significantly lower maintenance costs.
Notably has Ethiopian kept schtum on the selection of a new single aisle smaller jet which Gebremariam several times last year suggested would be made public by late 2016 or early 2017 with in particular the Bombardier C-Series seens as a frontrunner due to its outstanding operational performance. Efforts to obtain feedback from the airline, now that the first half of 2017 is almost over, were met first with template responses and then with utter silence which however did not quell the ongoing speculation.
Meanwhile was it confirmed too that the additional A350’s will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines. RR has won a major order from Ethiopian Airlines to provide Trent XWB engines for ten new Airbus A350-900, a deal worth about 1.5 billion US Dollars at list prices.
The Trent XWB is the world’s most efficient large aero engine and has been selected by more than 40 customers to date. With over 1,600 engines ordered, it is also the fastest selling wide body jet engine ever. The new order brings our manufacturing backlog to over 1,500 engines, representing over 6 years of production from our facilities in the UK and Germany.
Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines, said: ‘We have been impressed by the performance of both aircraft and engines in service, which gave us confidence to go forward with our order for ten additional aircraft which will bring even greater levels of comfort and service to our customers‘.
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, added: ‘A repeat order from Ethiopian is a huge testament to the performance of our engines in service. We look forward to continuing to deliver excellent efficiency to a customer that continues to bring the latest engine and aircraft technology into its fleet‘.
Ethiopian Airlines ordered Trent 1000 engines for six of their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, five of which are in service and have lease arrangements for an additional four aircraft.