Coming from the Dubai Air Show, where Airbus had the aircraft on display, is the new bird now completing a mini world tour which notably includes a stop in Africa. Ethiopian Airlines now has 14 A350XWB’s on order. It was therefore only logical that Airbus would give the ET staff in Addis the opportunity to see this aircraft type as they prepare to take delivery of the first aircraft in a couple of months.
Ethiopian has opted for the A350-900 variant which is capable of having as many as 315 passengers and cargo with a range of up to 8.700 nautical miles or just over 16.100 kilometres. This will allow for nonstop flights from Addis Ababa, inspite of the more than 7.000 feet elevation, to the United States and other long haul destinations.
Meanwhile has Airbus confirmed that the first delivery of this aircraft type to Ethiopian Airlines is due during the second quarter of 2016, after which additional aircraft will be progressively delivered, allowing the airline to finally replace their aged Boeing B767 fleet with new aircraft, this one offering up to 25 percent savings in operating cost compared to other aircraft presently used.
Ethiopian Airlines is also said to be mulling over an additional aircraft order, as previously reported here, and both Airbus and Boeing are in the running for either additional B787’s – Ethiopian is already flying the largest fleet of this aircraft type in Africa – or else more Airbus A350XWBs of very likely the -1000 variant.