Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines have announced an order of 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s aircraft. The 20 airplanes will cost the African airliner a net total of $2.1 billion at list price. Not just this, Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing also reached an agreement for an optional purchase of further 15 planes. The huge value of the order, makes it the largest single order that Boeing has ever received from an African carrier outlining the popularity of air travel in Ethiopia and potential connectivity.
The Boeing 737 MAX brings with it the newest Leap 1B engines made by GE as well as advanced winglets which promise a 14 percent more efficient fuel consumption as compared to the latest Boeing 737 aircraft and at least 20% improvement over the original 737. This order also takes the number of orders received for the 737 MAX aircraft to 2294 from a total of 43 countries, making it one of the hottest selling fleets around.
Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said of the historical move:
Today’s order underlines our commitment to our 15-year strategic plan, ‘Vision 2025’, in which Ethiopian will strive to become the leading airline group in Africa carrying 18 million passengers per annum. The 737 MAX will form a key component of that strategic vision, enhancing our single-aisle fleet and keeping us at the forefront of African aviation.
Speaking in Chicago, Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said:
This historic order for Boeing and our partner Ethiopian once again positions the carrier at the heart of African aerospace innovation with the acquisition of the 737 MAX. Throughout the years, Ethiopian has consistently led the way in introducing new airplane types to passengers across Africa. Today’s record order signals its commitment to continue that tradition.
The order is expected to be completed by 2025.