Africa’s most profitable airline, Ethiopian Airlines has placed an order for Africa’s first Airbus A350-1000, after converting its existing orders of A350-900 for larger planes.
The airline has swapped four of its remaining six A350-900 orders for the larger aeroplanes.
“The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe the upsizing will be vital in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our global network across five continents,” The east African quotes Mesfin Tasew, the Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO.
The A350-1000 can carry about 369 passengers with a maximum limit of 480, while the A350-900 caters to the 300-350 passenger market segment.
Ethiopian Airlines had ordered 22 Airbus planes as part of its expansion plan, 16 of which it had already received, making it the first in Africa to use the A350 planes.
However, the delivery timeline for the remaining four A350-1000 and two A350-900 has not yet been disclosed.
The carrier deploys its A350-900s on its long-haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia.
The Airbus A350-1000 is the longest member of the A350 XWB family of twin-engine passenger jets. Airbus developed it to target the mini-jumbo segment, which includes large twin-engine jets carrying 350 people.
The new variant features the latest aerodynamics and innovative technologies to increase fuel efficiency by 25% compared to its long-range competitor.