- Ethiopian Airlines plans to get six more airplanes to offer advanced domestic flight services, chief executive stated yesterday evening.
Ethiopian Airlines, which has invited bids for supply of planes, has taken close to two weeks to evaluate the airplanes from six suppliers who had tendered to supply the proposed planes.
"Our aim is to upgrade our 16 domestic routes throughout the country by adding new aircraft with a capacity between 70 to 80 seats," Mr Girma Wake stated, further saying planes would allow passengers to fly in comfort including generating revenue for airlines.
Ethiopia plans to increase the number of domestic aircrafts to 13 in the next five years. It has close to 16 domestic routes, and has started flying jet planes to some of these destinations with potential tourist attractions.
Airline is also in process of acquiring ten Boeing 787 jetliners to be delivered in 2009. The airline currently owns 32 aircraft and serves 50 international destinations.
According to Mr Girma, airline used to suffer major losses, but said since it started flying jet planes for local routes, the airlines has paid off its debt and started enjoying profit.
The airline has embarked on a period of sustained growth and fleet renewal, with plans to purchase 12 new aircrafts over the next four years. Six next generation B737-700 and six 767-300 ERs were scheduled to replace the existing two B737-200s and two B767-200.
Ethiopian's domestic route network spans the country, bringing provincial and administrative cities within easy reach of the capital and the regional commercial centres. In addition, there is a daily historic route service, for the tourists to the country's world famous ancient historic sites of Axum, Bahir Dar, Gondar, and Lalibela, which features obelisks and churches.
Ethiopian Airlines was founded on 30 December 1945. The first international scheduled service was inaugurated between Addis Ababa and Cairo on 8 April 1946.
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