WASHINGTON (AFP) – Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to buy 20 Boeing 737 aircraft in a deal worth $2.1 billion, the largest single order from the US aviation giant by an African carrier.
A statement said the deal also includes options and purchase rights for a further 15 of the fuel-efficient 737 MAX 8s.
“This historic order for Boeing and our partner Ethiopian once again positions the carrier at the heart of African aerospace innovation with the acquisition of the 737 MAX,” said Van Rex Gallard, Boeing vice president of sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean.
The 737 MAX, the fourth generation of Boeing’s popular 737, is expected to be 14 per cent more fuel-efficient than its predecessors, the company said. Nearly 2,300 of the aircraft are are on order from 47 customers.
Passengers are evacuated from a Ethiopian Airlines plane at the airport in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 17. Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to buy 20 Boeing 737 aircraft in a deal worth $2.1 billion – EPA
Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde Gebremariam said the order was part of a strategic 15-year plan aimed at boosting passenger numbers to 18 million a year.
“The 737 MAX will form a key component of that strategic vision, enhancing our single-aisle fleet and keeping us at the forefront of African aviation,” Gebremariam said in a statement.