Ethiopia to start JHB Dreamliner service

2012-11-21 08:14

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Johannesburg - Ethiopian Airlines' successful airplanes acquisitions strategy was lauded at the African Airlines Association General Meeting held in Johannesburg on Monday and Tuesday. 

The airline has also announced that it will begin the much anticipated B787 Dreamliner flights as part of its Johannesburg service from December 14. As the African airline to fly a Dreamliner, which comes with the massive competitive advantage of using 20 percent less fuel than its competitors, the airline landed its flagship Dreamliner aircraft in the United Arab Emirates at Dubai INternational earlier in August.

An order for ten 787 Dreamliners, placed in February 2005, confirmed its emergence as a regional leader and reflects one of the carrier’s key aims to becoming the gateway between the emerging powers of Asia in the east and the mineral rich markets of Africa to the west. Recent orders include five Q400 NextGen Bombardier aircraft to increase its fleet to 13 of the type  - three of which will be operated by its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo. The airline has not only trippled its fleet in the last six years but it is also the first to be outfitted with Bombardier’s newly introduced dual-class interior for the turboprop C series 325. Plans are in the pipeline to retrofit half of its older models with the dual-class interior.

“The fact that we are the first airline outside Japan to receive this ultra-modern aircraft is an affirmation of our continuing pioneering role in African aviation. It is also a testimony of our commitment to give our passengers the best possible travel experience, with the best industry products and services,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines.

The airline currently runs some 70 international routes, including the direct flight between Ethiopia and the UAE.

"If you draw a line between India, Brazil and Africa, we are in the middle,” Gebremariam said in a recent interview. “We have to take advantage of that and grow our market in order to survive.”

Passengers travelling  between Johannesburg and Addis Ababa on board the Dreamliner aircraft can look forward to sleeper seats in Cloud Nine for business class and reclining seats offering more legroom in economy.
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