Surprisingly in the second day of the Dubai Air Show it is Ethiopian Airlines to take the centerstage. The African carrier has agreed to order a substantial number of planes from Boeing to both renovate and expand its current fleet. The order includes both wide and narrow body planes. So let’s take a closer look at which Boeing planes Ethiopian Airlines has ordered.
The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Order at the 2023 Dubai Air Show
As mentioned the Ethiopian Airlines order for Boeing jets includes both narrow body and wide body planes. Unsurprisingly the airline has placed an order for aircraft types it already operates in its fleet. Specifically the Boeing 787 and 737 MAX. More i detail the east African carrier has placed a combined order for 31 planes which comprises of:
- 11 Boeing 787-9
- 20 Boring 737-8
Also the airline holds an option for 36 further planes of the same type split in:
- 15 Boeing 787-9
- 21 Boeing 737-8
This is a very impressive order. It is the single largest order for Boeing planes to ever be placed by an African airline. A true landmark order and moment for African aviation and Boeing.
Replacing Older Planes With More Fuel Efficient Jets
Fuel efficiency is becoming a key factor for the operations of each and every airline around the world. Particularly as we might move towards times in which aviation fuel might be on the pricier side. Therefore Ethiopian Airlines will moving in the efficiency direction as well.
The African airline will be using the arrival of these new Boeing 737 MAX jets to replace older more fuel thirsty 737-700 and 737-800. The number of planes ordered though lets us also understand as the operator has serious plans to expand its operations in coming years.
The Boeing 787-9 ordered on the other hand will also help make the fleet more efficient and less fuel thirsty. The new Dreamliners will possibly replace ageing 777s and also some of the first 787s the airline ever received.
Ethiopian was among the first carriers to receive the Boeing 787s with those first models were renamed by many the Terrible Teens. These planes had significant infancy issues which Boeing solved but added a significant amount of weight to them hindering their performance. The hefty discount on the price tag made it worth while though for Ethiopian in the short term. Now though their time might have come to an end.
New Business Class Cabins On All Ethiopian 787s
Another important piece of news Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines had to share is about the 787 cabin interiors. This is something that passengers and frequent flyers will appreciate more. Ethiopian Airlines has contracted Boeing joint venture Adient Aerospace to retrofit new business class lie flat seats on all of its Dreamliners. This will be a huge upgrade for the 787-8s and 787-9 that still feature the older 2-2-2 seat layout.