Africa’s most profitable air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is set to acquire 20 A220 planes from Airbus once a deal is sealed between the two companies.
According to the airline’s CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, the deal should be completed by the end of this year.
The acquisition deal follows the grounding of Boeing 737 Max planes in March as a result of the Ethiopian Air crash which left 157 people dead.
The carrier still has 28 Boeing 737 Max aircraft on order.
If sealed, the deal could be worth more than $1.6 billion (KSh166Bn) as each A220-100 costs $81 million (KSh8.4Bn).
The airline says the smaller Airbus A220 will incorporate as many direct flights as possible.
Ethiopian Airlines, headquartered at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, is Africa’s largest airline in terms of passengers carried, destinations served, fleet size, and revenue. It is also among the top airlines globally in terms of the number of countries served flying to over 80 countries around the world.