Ethiopian Airlines Seals Deal for Boeing 777-9 Jets Amidst Global Competition

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Ethiopian Airlines has finalized an agreement to acquire eight Boeing 777-9 widebody jets, with the potential for an additional 12 aircraft orders, according to a joint statement released on Tuesday.

This move reflects the global competition among major airlines to secure fuel-efficient widebody jets, essential for managing operational costs and meeting the escalating demand for international travel.

The decision by Ethiopian Airlines to invest in Boeing’s 777X program comes at a crucial time for the aviation giant, which has faced increased scrutiny following a January 5 incident involving a door plug detaching from a new 737 MAX plane mid-flight.

Boeing’s 777X program, despite attracting numerous orders from airlines worldwide, has grappled with a five-year delay. Emirates, the largest buyer of the 777X, recently hinted at a potential delay in the first delivery of the world’s largest twin-engine jet, with expectations shifting from late 2025 to 2026.

Ethiopian Airlines’ choice of the 777-9 jets establishes the carrier as the inaugural 777X customer in Africa. This decision complements the airline’s existing 2023 order for 11 787 Dreamliner and 20 737 MAX jets.

The acquisition of the 777-9 aligns with Ethiopian Airlines’ strategic plans to expand and modernize its fleet, enhancing size, range, and passenger capacity to serve high-demand markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

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