International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG), announced today that Ethiopian Airlines, one of the fastest growing airlines in Africa, has agreed to lease three of Boeing’s new Dreamliner 787-8 aircraft.
“ILFC is proud to reinforce our partnership with Ethiopian Airlines by adding to their fleet the most advanced aircraft in the skies today – Boeing’s Dreamliner,” said ILFC Chief Executive Officer Henri Courpron. “Ethiopian is a proud airline with a history of success and commitment within Africa and international destinations around the world. We look forward to their continued success.”
Tewolde GebreMariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, said, “In line with vision 2025 strategic road maps, Ethiopian is scaling up its fast, profitable and sustainable growth. Being the first in Africa and third in the world to operate the 787 Dreamliner aircraft and being satisfied with the performance of the fleet in service, Ethiopian is pleased to bring the B787 fleet to thirteen by 2015. We value our partnership with ILFC.”
ILFC’s Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa Colin Bole commented, “Africa presents a real opportunity for the aviation industry to expand and contribute to the growth and prosperity of the continent. ILFC is committed to partnering with the region’s strategically minded airlines such as Ethiopian.” Last year ILFC opened a full-service office in Amsterdam to support regional customers including those in Africa.
The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2015 and will carry GEnx-1B70/75 engines. ILFC is the largest customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an order book of 74 aircraft. The 787 incorporates visionary technologies that provide environmental improvements together with enhanced fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.
Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946 and now the Airline provides dependable services to 70 international destinations spanning four continents. Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,555 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.
Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products. Recently, Ethiopian won Gold in the African Airline of the Year 2011/2012 Awards organized by the African Aviation News Portal.
Ethiopian also received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the “AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011 Award” for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian also won the 2012 “African Airline of the Year Award” from Air Transport Quarterly Magazine.
With its acquisition of and firm orders for several new modern fleets, the airline is well positioned to pursue aggressively the implementation of its 2025 strategic plan to become the leading Aviation group in Africa.www.ethiopianairlines.com