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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Ethiopian Airlines to Double Fleet, Eyes Airbus A350F

Africa's largest and most profitable airline, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to become even larger and more profitable. The airline plans to aggressively pursue its growth ambition by almost doubling its operating fleet by the year 2035.

To drive this aggressive growth plan, Ethiopian Airlines newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Mesfin Tasew, has embraced the ‘Vision 2035’ roadmap which was introduced in 2019 by his predecessor, Tewolde GebreMariam.

Speaking to the media at the Farnborough Air Show in July, Tasew said that Ethiopian Airlines roadmap is “tailored around fast, profitable, sustainable growth” and will involve almost doubling of its current fleet, including passenger and cargo aircraft.

“Today, Ethiopian Airlines operates around 135 aircraft and by 2035 we would like to expand this fleet to more than 250 aircraft,” he said.

Currently, Ethiopian Airlines has only 35 aircraft on order. To double its fleet, the airline will need to place significant orders for “more latest-technology, highly efficient aircraft” in the coming years, Tasew said.

Ethiopian Airlines current order book also includes 22 Boeing 737 MAX jets of which Tasew said has been very reliable after the airline reintegrated four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into its active fleet. The entire MAX fleet had been grounded for almost 3 years following a crash.

“When we reintroduced them, customers did not notice that they were flying on the 737 Max,” Tasew said of the passenger response to the type returning following the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX in March 2019. “The reliability of the aircraft has been very good.” he added.

By early August, 2022, Ethiopian Airlines had taken delivery of three more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, bringing its fleet of the fuel-efficient jet to seven. According to Tasew, the airline expects to take delivery of the remaining 22 over the next four years.

In addition to the outstanding orders for Boeing 737 MAX jets, Ethiopian Airlines aircraft on order also include six Airbus A350s, four of which were recently upgraded from the -900 to -1000 variant. It also has two Boeing 787-9s, and five 777 freighters.

Perhaps, the most interesting development is that, despite signing an MoU with Boeing in March for the purchase of 5  B777-8Fs, Tasew said the airline is still “evaluating new-generation cargo aircraft, particularly the 777X freighter in comparison with the A350 freighter”. Irrespective of what they decide to order, freighters are a big part of the airline's vision 2035 roadmap.

It'll be recalled that in May, Ethiopian Airlines placed a new order for 5 current generation Boeing 777 Freighters. At Farnborough, Ethiopian Airlines signed an agreement to purchase two Dash 8-400 freighter conversion kits from De Havilland Canada, while Tasew says Ethiopian “plans to acquire more 737 freighter aircraft”.

At the air show, the airline also signed Boeing 787 gear exchange agreement with Boeing. Beyond investing in fleet renewal and route expansion, Ethiopian Airlines Vision 2035 strategy also involves “investments in infrastructure in the areas of MRO and airport facilities”, Tasew said.

Founded in December 1945 as Ethiopian Air Lines (EAL), Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its almost 76 years of operation, Ethiopian has become the continent’s leading carrier, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.

Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the Pan African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 130 passenger and cargo domestic, regional, and international destinations across 5 continents.

Ethiopian Airlines' current fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 737, and Bombardier Dash 8-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of 7 years.


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Comments (25)

Sep 21, 2022

We just booked our QATAR 🇶🇦 HÔTEL yesterday for 2 différent short stars of 2 nights and 3 nights for the Final… . Not exactly cheap but ok price for 4.5 Stars luxury and in Doha Center City! Thanks and Good Luck everyone! Vamos MEXICO!


Sep 30, 2022

Wow! Stunning! Hilton seems to be taking Africa by storm. Just a couple of years back, they opened the first ever in Eswatini.


Oct 24, 2022

Wonderful event and topics discussed, hopefully we see the manifestations in our African airline businesses in the nearest future. Kudos to you all.


Nov 10, 2022

Hi, I'm Lucy. Please how do I embark on my travel/ tour business. I am newbie and help..


Nov 18, 2022

Prices in the Sol Torremolinos Don Pablo are the same than two weeks ago.


Dec 04, 2022

Good location astounding but the staffs are rude and they make me wait so long for the service. They charge me more than what is on the website and did not refund me the manager is not helping with the issue


Dec 15, 2022

WoW. Amazing Review. 👍


Jan 07, 2023

I spent the holidays here, I don't know why but during the holidays their reception smells like a piss Id rather not spend my special occasions here

Aug 07, 2023
Replying to

Where is here.


Jan 27, 2023

Thank you for sharing such a detailed review about ethiopian airlines in your post. I am an avid traveller and keep reading flight reviews to assess the options available. Your review particularly drew my attention because you have shared so many pictures to capture every aspect of the flight experience. It is a very nice effort.

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Feb 27, 2023

I am really tempted to book the next ethiopian airlines ticket and relive your journey. The pictures shared with the post also reflect that you truly enjoyed the travel. Great post! I also like the fact that you have covered nuances about the food and entertainment service through the pictures. It helps people know what to expect on their travel by this airline.

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