Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft, becoming the first African A350 XWB operator. The airline’s first aircraft, on lease from AerCap, arrived in Addis Ababa on 29th June 2016.
The aircraft features a two-class layout with a total of 343 seats comprising 30 in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class.
Altogether Ethiopian Airlines has ordered 14 Airbus A350 XWBs. Twelve of these are being directly ordered from Airbus, with the other two aircraft on lease from AerCap. The carrier - the seventh to place the A350 into service - will deploy the aircraft on its expanding route network connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Asia and America.
Ethiopian currently operates 79 aircraft and is in the midst of a major expansion plan, Vision 2025, which should see its fleet double in size over the next 10 years. As part of its ambition to become "the leading aviation group in Africa", the carrier has expressed interest in ordering either the Airbus A350-1000 or the Boeing 777X.