Boeing (NYSE: BA) delivered its 900th 777 airplane today to Ethiopian Airlines. The airplane is the ultra-long-range Boeing 777-200LR (long range) Worldliner, and is the first of five 777s the airline ordered in 2009.
“With the delivery of its first 777-200LR, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to operate the world’s most technologically advanced and longest-range airplane,” said Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Ato Girma Wake. “This further reaffirms our commitment to be the leader of aviation in Africa.”
Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the carrier is investing in additional airplanes to broaden its network. The carrier will use the 777-200LRs on new, nonstop service from Washington, D.C., to Addis Ababa and new long-haul, nonstop routes like Beijing.
“The 777-200LR is the only airplane that provides the range and efficiency that Ethiopian needs to service its long-haul routes,” said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 777 program. “And it’s our pleasure to deliver this airplane, our 900th, to a first-time 777 customer.”
The 777 program reached the 900-airplane milestone faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in history. The 777’s performance and passenger-preferred interior have made it the world’s most popular twin-engine long-haul commercial jetliner, with 1,165 orders from 61 customers.
“Today we celebrate a very important historical milestone with our longstanding customer Ethiopian Airlines,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Ethiopian’s order, along with this 900th 777 delivery, confirms both the leadership role and market preference for the 777 – the flagship of the world’s premiere airlines.”
The 777-200LR carries more passengers and more revenue cargo farther than any other jetliner, and is capable of connecting virtually any two cities in the world nonstop. It also can carry a full cargo load on routes where other airplanes are payload limited – giving airlines the ability to carry the same number of passengers farther and with additional revenue-generating cargo.
Provisions for up to three optional fuel tanks have been added in the aft cargo area of the 777-200LR to be able to fly a range of 9,395 nautical miles (17,395 km) with full passenger payload (301 passengers).
“As one of the premier airlines in Africa and around the world, Ethiopian has long used Boeing airplanes as a tool for achieving our business goals,” Wake said. “The strategic long-range feature of the 777-200LR will again help Ethiopian expand our network and is a perfect complement to the 787s that are on order.
“The Boeing 777 will help us bring our business to the next level,” said Wake. “Boeing has been an important and valued partner to Ethiopian for many, many years. This order reinforces the deep ties between our two companies.”
Boeing’s partnership with Ethiopian Airlines dates back some 60 years. Today, it operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, and 767 airplanes in passenger service and 757, MD11 and 747 in cargo operations.