Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-9. The aircraft, ET-AUO (c/n 38778), which is being operated under a long-term lease from AerCap, touched down at the carrier’s hub in Addis Ababa on October 27, following a non-stop 8,354-mile (13,444km) delivery flight. This is the first example of the -9 variant to enter service with an African carrier and extends Ethiopian’s tradition of setting aviation milestones for the continent: it became the first airline to introduce the 787-8 (Aug 2012); 777-200LR (Nov 2010); 777-300ER (Nov 2013) and the 777 Freighter (Sep 2012).
Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, remarked: “We are proud to celebrate yet another first with the introduction of the cutting-edge 787-9 into our young and fast-growing fleet. Today, the Dreamliner is the core of our fleet with 20 aircraft in service. Our investment in the latest technology aircraft is part of our Vision 2025 strategy.”
In conjunction with the aircraft’s non-stop flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Airlines conducted its 32nd humanitarian delivery flight in partnership with the non-profit making Seattle Alliance Outreach. Onboard the Dreamliner was a shipment of medical goods donated by US organisations to be distributed to the Black Lion and St Paul hospitals in Ethiopia.
Boeing says that since the first 787 was handed over to All Nippon Airways in September 2011, more than 600 Dreamliners have entered commercial service, flying almost 200 million people on more than 500 routes around the world.