Ethiopian expands fleet and network

Ethiopian Airlines is set to launch new routes and increase service in existing markets.

Effective from 28 October, the airline will introduce daily roundtrip flights between its home base of Addis Ababa and the east-African archipelago of Zanzibar, Tanzania, using new Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

From the same date, the airline also will increase from three to six the number of weekly services it operates between Addis Ababa and the European hub of Brussels.

These increases follow the recent introduction by Ethiopian Airlines of three weekly flights between Addis Ababa and Abu Dhabi, and a new code share agreement with Gulf Air between Ethiopia and Bahrain.

Several other new routes have also been inaugurated this year, including Sana’a, Yemen, and Libreville, Gabon.

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The expansion of services by Ethiopian Airlines is part of an ongoing plan by the company to develop substantial air transport links to, from and within Africa.

Recently, the airline leased two additional Boeing 767-300 aircraft for long haul passenger flights, and a Boeing 757-200ER for services between Addis Ababa and the Middle East.

These acquisitions are in addition the airline’s order for 10 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first two of which will be delivered in September, 2008, making Ethiopian the first carrier from Africa to operate this long range aircraft.

The airline has also purchased a Boeing MD-11 freighter, with 88 tonnes of cargo-carrying capacity, to be introduced in January, 2009. Negotiations are also underway for a second MD11 to be delivered later that year.
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