Ethiopian Airlines has ordered five Boeing 777F dedicated air cargo aircraft, both companies announced on Wednesday. This latest order followed a previous order for five 777-8F freighters, announced in March this year. Ethiopian already operated nine 777Fs.
The operator’s fleet also included three Boeing 737-800BCFs. (BCF stood for ‘Boeing Converted Freighter’ and indicated that these aircraft were originally airliners which had been converted into freighters.) Ethiopian, of course, carried lots of freight in the belly holds of its large airliner fleet.
“The addition of these five 777 Freighters into our cargo fleet will enable us to meet the growing demand in our cargo operation,” explained Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew. “While cementing our partnership with Boeing with new orders, the growth of our freighter fleet takes the capacity and efficiency of our shipment service to the next level.”
“Ethiopian Airlines’ all-Boeing freighter fleet provides them with unrivalled capability and flexibility as Africa’s largest cargo operator,” affirmed Boeing commercial sales and marketing senior VP Ihssane Mounir. “These additional 777 Freighters will enable Ethiopian to capitalise on near-term cargo demand, while positioning the airline for further expansion in the future.”
The 777F was the largest and longest-ranged twin-engined freighter aircraft on the market. It also burnt 17% less fuel, with the concomitant reduction in emissions, in comparison to previous aircraft. The 777F had a range of 9 200 km and could carry a maximum structural payload of 107 t.
“We always strive to serve our customers with the latest technology aircraft the aviation industry could offer,” highlighted Tasew. “Our cargo terminal is Africa’s largest, coupled with fuel-efficient freighters and well-trained cargo handling professionals will enable our customers to get the best quality shipment service. Customers can rely on Ethiopian for wide-ranging cargo services across five continents.” Outside Africa, the airline had 68 dedicated cargo centres, spread across the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas