Ethiopian Airlines has announced an order for four Boeing 777 Freighters, making it the first African carrier to order the twin-engine freighter.
Boeing values the order is valued at approximately $1.1 billion at list prices. Ethiopian’s Boeing 777 Freighter order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s website.
“As the largest African cargo carrier operating in some of the fastest growing trade lanes of the world – between Africa and Europe, Middle East and Asia – the new 777 Freighter fleet will significantly enhance our tonnage and range capabilities,” says Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “The proven operational and economical efficiency of these airplanes will reposition Ethiopian Cargo in a stronger place to continue winning in this hyper-competitive market.”
“Over the past few years we’ve seen Ethiopian Airlines become a leader in African aviation and they are well on their way to becoming a global aviation leader,” says Marlin Dailey, president of Boeing Germany, EU, Northern Europe, and Africa. “Ethiopian Airlines continues to set the standard in aviation throughout the continent – from being the first African airline to order Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, the first to fly the 777-200LR and now the first to purchase the 777 Freighter.”
The 777 Freighter, the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter, is based on the very-long-haul Boeing 777-200LR passenger aircraft and can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 225,200lb (102 metric tons) of cargo.
With a high cargo density and 10-foot (3.1-meter) interior height capability, the 777 Freighter provides a cargo capacity normally associated with larger aircraft and features the lowest trip cost of any large freighter.
“Ethiopian Airlines has used Boeing’s best products to enhance its fleet for more than 65 years,” says Van Rex Gallard, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ vice president of sales for Africa, Latin America, & the Caribbean. “This order signifies that growing relationship and we thank Ethiopian Airlines for choosing the 777 Freighter to enhance and grow its cargo capabilities.”
Ethiopian Airlines was the first African carrier to operate the 777-200LR (the airline now has five of the type in its fleet) and the first African carrier to order the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with an order for 10. Ethiopian operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737s, 757s, 767s and 777s in passenger service and a 757, MD-11 and 747 in cargo operations.