Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of the first of its 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s it has on firm order.

The flag carrier’s maiden example, ET-AVM (c/n 62446), departed Seattle on July 1 on its delivery flight to Addis Ababa via a technical stop in Dublin. When all its MAX 8s have been received the carrier will become the largest operator of the type in Africa.

Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, commented: “We are glad to include the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in our young and modern fleet. The MAX 8 is more fuel efficient than our current 737 NG fleet and releases less carbon emissions into the atmosphere. As a customer centric airline with a high adaptability to emerging technologies, Ethiopian has been pioneering latest-technology aircraft into Africa throughout its 72-year history.”

Ethiopian Airlines has configured its 737 MAX 8s with 160 seats.