Ethiopian Airlines to decide on $3 bn plane order by June end

02 June 2014 14 By Linda LarbieHits africabusinesscommunities.com
Ethiopian Airlines will decide in June on whether to place an order for 30 narrow-body Airbus or Boeing jets as part of fleet its expansion plans, the company’s chief executive said on Sunday.


“We will make a decision by the end of June,” Tewolde Gebremariam told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the IATA airlines association in Doha.

Gebremariam said the airline was considering both the A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX.

At current list prices, the order could come to about $3 billion.

The Horn of Africa nation’s carrier, which currently has an almost exclusively Boeing fleet, has said it wants to almost double its fleet to 112 planes and carry 18 million passengers over 92 routes by 2025.

The airliner’s ambitious expansion plan involves more training and new infrastructure development, having invested over $50 million in its Aviation Academy, with the purchase of flight simulators in the past two years alone.

Apart from securing a $500 million loan from China to buy aircraft from Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines re-invested its $110 million 2012/2013 profits on its fleet.

In August 2012, Ethiopian Airlines was the first company after Japan Airlines to receive a B787, believed to be one of the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft in the world.

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