Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Ethiopian Airlines announced an order for four Boeing 777 Freighters – the world’s largest and longest-range twin-engine cargo jet – in a deal valued at more than $1.3 billion at list prices.
The deal includes a new order for two freighters. It also includes two freighters the airline announced as a commitment in June that finalized into a firm order and posted on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website this month.
“This airplane order will provide Ethiopian’s Cargo & Logistics business with enhanced cargo capacity and better operating economics as we continue to build one of the largest cargo terminals in the world,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, who signed for the new airplanes at the 2017 Dubai Airshow.
“Operating high-performance airplanes such as the 777 Freighter is a reflection of our commitment to expand and support the growing imports and exports of our country and the African continent.”
With nearly 100 airplanes in operation, Ethiopian flies one of the largest and youngest fleets in Africa, including Boeing 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, and 787s.
“We are honored that Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s leading carriers, has again selected Boeing airplanes to grow its operations, adding to an order book that includes the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister. “The 777 Freighter has no competitor in its class when it comes to low operating costs, long range, and capacity to carry cargo.”
The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger jet and can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg).
This order pushes 777 net orders this year to 57 – 37 of them for the current-generation 777 airplane – providing further support to a smooth production transition to the new 777X.
Ethiopian Cargo is the largest network cargo operator in Africa with six 777 and two 757 Freighters serving 39 cargo destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Ethiopian Cargo opened a state-of-the-art cargo terminal in June 2017 that gives the carrier an annual capacity of one million tons.