Ethiopian Airlines is the latest carrier to sign an MoU for the purchase of five Boeing 777X freighters.
The intent to purchase a new Boeing 777X freighter will enable the carrier to “meet expanding global cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term sustainable growth”, Ethiopian Airlines outlined in a statement dated March 4, 2022.
Nine older models Boeing 777 freighters and three 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters are now in service with the airline.
“The new 777-8 Freighters will be instrumental in this long journey of growth agenda. Today, our air cargo services cover more than 120 international destinations around the world with both belly-hold capacity and dedicated freighter services,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.
Ethiopian Airlines intends to increase its freight and logistics operations, claiming to be constructing Africa’s largest E-commerce Hub Terminal.
According to Boeing, the freighter version of the Boeing 777X aircraft will have a payload capacity approximately identical to the Boeing 747-400 freighter, as well as a 30% increase in fuel efficiency, emissions, and operational expenses.
“Ethiopian Airlines has been at the forefront of Africa’s cargo market for decades, growing its fleet of Boeing freighters and connecting the continent to the flow of global commerce,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.
“The intent to purchase the new 777-8 Freighter further underscores the value of our latest airplane and ensures Ethiopian will remain a key player in global cargo, providing it with increased capacity, flexibility, and efficiency for the future.”
In late January 2022, Boeing debuted the much-anticipated cargo variant of its 777X aircraft. Qatar Airways was the first to put a firm order for 34 777X freighters, with options for an additional 16 aircraft.