Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam has divulged the airline’s intention of placing orders for the 777X.
Ethiopian Airlines is expected to place an order for 15 to 20 Boeing 777Xs by the end of this year.
According to Wall Street Journal, the East African airline’s reported order consideration is worth around $7.4 billion at catalog price.
What makes this order special is that the carrier first deliberated on purchasing A350-1000 planes but had a change of mind to go with Boeing 777X.
The reason? The airline CEO said the 777X’s structure and performance would suit its operations better at its high-altitude hub in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian’s regional director of the Americas, Nigusu Worku Wordofa, said, "It's good to have different types of aircraft. It gives us flexibility. However Boeing and Ethiopian have been in business for 7 decades; we have a very bright future and will continue buying Boeing airplanes."
Ethiopian is scheduled to take delivery of its first of 12 A350-900 ordered in 2016.
The airline -Africa's largest carrier- has also 11 Boeing 787 in service and an orderbook of 2 additional 787s and 4 777s. In July/2013, a 787-8 from Ethiopian catched fire at Heathrow.