Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900, to become the first African operator of the A350 XWB family.
The airline’s first aircraft, which it is leasing from AerCap, arrived at the carrier’s base at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on June 29.
Each of Ethiopian’s A350-900s will have a two-class cabin layout with a total of 343 seats: 30 in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class.
To date Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to acquire 14 Airbus A350-900s, 12 of them directly ordered from Airbus and the other two aircraft on lease from AerCap.
The carrier will deploy the aircraft on its expanding route network connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Asia and North America.
To celebrate the arrival of its first A350-900, Ethiopian’s employees have applied for a new Guinness World Record for making the largest-ever image of an aircraft consisting of a crowd of human beings.
On June 29, 350 Ethiopian employees gathered at Ethiopian’s maintenance hangar to create a human image of an A350-900, the crowd creating a shape which clearly represented an aircraft with a fuselage, wings, two engines and horizontal stabilizers.
The event was organized in collaboration with Airbus and a team of adjudicators from World Guinness Records checked the final shape from the air. A photograph displaying the arrangement was submitted.
Photos of the aircraft-shaped crowd of Ethipoian Airlines employees can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ethiopianairlines.
Guinness World Records’ adjudicators also measured the number of participants, which Ethiopian says was the largest number of participants for any such attempt.
“The year 2016 has been truly exciting at Ethiopian. Along with our 70th year anniversary celebration, we received Africa’s first A350 XWB aircraft, which is our first Airbus airplane in our fleet and another significant milestone in the history of African Aviation industry,” said Ato Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group’s CEO, at the event.
“Today we are very pleased to magnify our reception ceremony with this interesting event of making the image of Africa’s first Airbus A350 XWB and registering our name in the Guinness World Records, which has made this historic occasion even more special and colorful,” added GebreMariam. “Hence, we are celebrating being the first operator of Airbus A350 in Africa and the first in the world in its image forming.”
To date, Airbus has recorded firm orders for 802 A350 XWBs from 42 customers.