Ethiopian Airlines has during the recently concluded Paris Air Show also signed additional purchase agreements with Bombardier, the Canadian manufacturer of business jets, commercial turboprop aircraft and the state of the art C-Series jets.
Ethiopian, which was during the aviation exhibition also once again named by Skytrax as the African Airline of the Year, already operates 19 Bombardier Q400 NextGen’s and was in fact pioneering the dual class layout with the manufacturer, offering a business class section on board of these aircraft.
The turboprop fleet is mainly deployed on domestic services but also serves the Eastern African region and makes regular appearances in Entebbe, Kigali but also Kilimanjaro and Mombasa, among others.
The deal is worth nearly 162 million US Dollars at current list prices for this aircraft type.
The add on order for five more of these aircraft, which cruising speed is only marginally lower than jet aircraft, will boost the airline’s ability to increase frequencies on domestic and regional routes as well as open up new destinations in the wider Eastern African region.
Ethiopian Airlines has for the last financial year also once again written a record profit into their books with available data suggesting a profit rise by a staggering 70 percent after uplifting more than 7.5 million passengers.
‘Our relationship with Ethiopian Airlines extends beyond straight buyer-seller‘ said Colin Bole, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
‘Ethiopian is an Authorized Service Facility for Q400 aircraft and operates the only Q400 aircraft flight simulator in Africa. In addition, we have worked together to support other Q400 aircraft operators such as RwandAir and Congo Airways‘.
‘We are reordering the Bombardier Q400 turboprop as it is the core element in serving our expanding domestic and regional destinations‘ said Tewolde GebreMariam, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines before adding: ‘Its 360-knot speed capability, low operating costs, environmental credentials and passenger comfort, especially with its cabin flexibility for single and dual-class passenger configuration are worth mentioning.
The Q400 aircraft shines in terms of climb rate, single-engine ceiling, and greater revenue-producing payload capability from our hot weather, high altitude airstrips, these performance attributes being critical to interchangeability with our jet fleet‘. (News now)