Monday, August 6, 2012

► ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines confirms 787 handover on August 14; to fly once off Washington - Addis flight on August 16.

Almost 3 years late, but the wait will be over soon enough as Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has officially announced that it is to take delivery of its first, and Africa's first, Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a ceremony in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday 14 August 2012.
""The fact that we are the first airline outside Japan to receive this ultra modern aircraft is an affirmation of our continuing pioneering role in African aviation. It is also a testimony of our commitment to give our passengers the best possible travel experience, with the best industry products and services." said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian. "
Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner ET-AOQ [Click to Enlarge]
ET-AOQ in Seattle recently.
After taking delivery, Ethiopian will fly its Dreamliner "ET-AOQ" to Washington D.C. the following day, where the aircraft will be on display to foreign dignitaries amongst whom will be US Senators and House Representatives as well as Ambassadors, Executives from the World Bank and IMF, members of the Ethiopian community, the media and other invited guests. 

It should be noted that since its early days with the Boeing 707 and 720, Ethiopian has maintained a very strong bond with Boeing and its financiers at the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Thereafter, Ethiopian Airlines on 16 August, will operate a one-time only Washington Dulles – Addis Ababa service on board its 787-8 aircraft, operating as a nonstop eastbound flight (13hrs 30mins) essentially the aircraft début flight.
  •  ET2501 IAD1230 – 0900+1ADD 788 16AUG12
The Dreamliner is scheduled to touchdown at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport on Thursday 16 August 2012 following which the airline will hold celebrations.

UPDATE: The Guangzhou, China inaugural route has been CANCELLED effective 6 August 2012. (For the updated schedule of Ethiopian's 787 destinations see this thread).