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Ethiopian to order 20 regional jets
Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO

Ethiopian to order 20 regional jets

Eyes Australian market

Ethiopian Airlines is in the process of ordering about 20 regional jets that would serve domestic and regional routes.

In a bid to support its expansion plan in the region, Ethiopian is contemplating to place a firm order for the purchase of 12-20 regional jets.  

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told The Reporter that his airline has been evaluating the Bombardier C Series SC100 and Embraer E190-E2 aircraft. Bombardier CS100 and Embraer E192 are 100-seater short range aircraft.

Tewolde told The Reporter that Ethiopian is in the final stage of selecting either Bombardier SC100 or E190 regional jets. “The aircraft has to be fit for purpose. We see how the aircraft can help us achieve our business objective. The performance of the aircraft, fuel consumption, and passenger comfort are some of the parameters that we consider during the selection process,” he said.    

The national flag carrier took delivery of its 100th aircraft – Boeing 787-900-on June7, 2018. Ethiopian has 62 aircraft on its order book including B787, Airbus A350-900, B737-8 MAX and Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Ethiopian anticipates increasing its fleet number to 150 by 2030. “After successfully achieving most of the goals set in our Vision 2025 growth plan we have revised our fleet development plan up wards,” Tewolde told The Reporter.

In a related news, Ethiopian is planning to connect Africa with Australia by air transport. On the sidelines of the 74th Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and World Air Transport Summit that was held in Sydney, Australia, Tewolde told The Reporter that Ethiopian was undertaking a study on the Australian market. “We are planning to open a new route between Addis Ababa and Melbourne. We are targeting Ethiopian and other African diaspora residing in Australia,” Tewolde said.  The flag carrier is planning to fly to Melbourne via Bangkok, Singapore or Seychelles.

Ethiopian currently serves 105 international destinations spread across five continents. The only inhibited continent that Ethiopian wings have not reached is Australia.           

With regards to the recent announcement by the Ethiopian government to partially privatize strategic state-owned enterprise including Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde said both the country and the airline are entering a new chapter in their growth agenda with more globalization, collaboration and expansion of their capital base, technology stock and knowledge base.

“In line with the recent announcement of our government, we will discuss to identify the areas of our business which we can use to expand capital, technology and knowledge base and earn more foreign exchange for our country, Tewolde said.

Ethiopian has been partnering with global companies in many areas and owns minority shares on other African Airlines. The airline is also in the process of establishing a joint venture company with DHL that renders cargo forwarding and logistics services.