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Ethiopian Airlines’ B777X Jets order spares Boeing’s blushes


Ethiopian Airlines’ B777X Jets order spares Boeing’s blushes | Ethiopian Airlines Group and Boeing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to purchase the latest Boeing 777-9 airplanes.

The agreement includes the purchase of eight 777-9 passenger airplanes and the potential for up to 12 additional jets by Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian. 

Ethiopian Airlines’ selection of the 777X positions the carrier as the first 777X customer in Africa and builds on its landmark 2023 order for 11  Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 20 737 MAX airplanes in growing its modern fleet.


There is low confidence in Boeing’s new project by other larger carriers due to uncertainty about certification, commencement of production, and the company’s ability to commit to a delivery schedule.

The company is also being investigated by the US National Transportation Safety Board about a Jan. 5 Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 mid-air cabin door emergency.  

The MoU between Ethiopian and Boeing, is a real show of ‘confidence’ by Africa’s biggest carrier and a much-needed shot in the arm for the US aerospace company.

Regarding the signing of the MoU Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said: “We are pleased to continue setting the trend in African aviation for adopting cutting-edge technologies to enhance our services and customer satisfaction. Improving our operational performance and commitment to environmental sustainability, the 777-9 offers more flexibility, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions. We are grateful to Boeing for their long-standing partnership and support, and we eagerly anticipate flying the 777-9 across the African skies and beyond.”

Based on the 777 and with advanced technologies from the 787 Dreamliner family, the 777-9 features new carbon-fiber composite wings and engines that will enable the airplane to achieve 10% better fuel efficiency and operating costs than other fleet families.

The 777-9 will support the Ethiopian Airlines’ plans to grow and renew its fleet in size, range and passenger and cargo capacity to reach high-demand markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. As part of its Vision 2035, Ethiopian is planning to fly to more than 209 international destinations flying more than 271 modern and eco-friendly aircraft.

“Ethiopian Airlines marks yet another first in our longstanding partnership by selecting the 777-9 to be the flagship of its growing fleet,” said Brad McMullen, Boeing Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “Building on a relationship that goes back 75 years, we value the unwavering trust and confidence Ethiopian Airlines puts in our airplanes.”

Boeing airplanes make up more than half of Ethiopian Airlines’ current fleet, including 29 787 Dreamliners, 20 777s, 27 Next-Generation 737s, 15 737 MAX and 3 767 jets. Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing continue to explore opportunities to further develop the country’s aerospace industry, including support for Ethiopian Airlines MRO capabilities, industrial development, training capabilities at the Ethiopian Aviation University and STEM education, as well as equipping the Ethiopian Museum of Science with aerospace exhibits.

Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook forecasts Africa’s overall air traffic growth at more than 7% through 2042 ─ the third highest growth rate among global regions and above the global average growth rate of approximately 6%.

Providing growth opportunities for airlines and offering enhanced features for passengers, with a range of 13,510 km (7,295 nautical miles) the 777-9enabls flights from Addis Ababa to as far as Seattle in the U.S. | Ethiopian Airlines’ B777X Jets order spares Boeing’s blushes