Ethiopian Airlines Signs MOU For 11 A350-900s

Ethiopian Airlines A350-900

Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900

Credit: Joe Pries

DUBAI—Ethiopian Airlines is expanding its fleet of Airbus A350-900s, with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for 11 new widebodies.

The legacy carrier operates a fleet of 124 aircraft, according to the Aviation Week Network Fleet Discovery Database, including 20 A350-900s. The airline’s total orderbook and commitment for the A350 now stands at 33, including four A350-1000s. Ethiopian is Africa’s biggest A350 customer and plans to more than double its total fleet to 270 by 2035.

“We are keen to expand our fleet size, acquiring the latest technology aircraft,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said.

The MOU, signed at the Dubai Airshow, follows an order the airline placed for up to 67 Boeing aircraft comprised of firm orders and options for 737-8s and 787-9s. Ethiopian’s top executive also expressed interest in the A220 as a replacement for its domestic turboprop fleet, but said the airline was not ready to place an order “due to what that aircraft is experiencing today regarding engines,” and will wait until the Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engine issues are solved.

“We have an expansion plan, a growth plan, which requires us to acquire more airplanes, open up new routes,” Tasew said. “We are still competing with various international airlines, mostly Middle East and Europeans ... our goal is to develop our internal capacity to enable us to effectively compete in this internationally competitive industry.”

Christine Boynton

Christine Boynton is a Senior Editor covering air transport in the Americas for Aviation Week Network.


1 Comment
Question no one seems to ask..., where does Ethiopian Airlines get it's funding for all of these new airplanes?