LONDON – Airbus has announced that Ethiopian Airlines will be converting four of its A350-900s on orders into the -1000 variant.
Ethiopian has already had 16 of their 22 A350s delivered up to now. But with this upsizing, this means that out of the six left, four will be -1000, and two will be -900.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said, “We are delighted over the upsizing of the A350-900 on order to the largest variant, A350-1000, that helps us stay ahead of the curve in technology.”
“We are the technology leaders in the continent, introducing the latest technology and fuel-efficient fleet into Africa. The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe that the upsizing will be instrumental in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our vast global network across five continents.”
“We will continue to keep ourselves abreast of aviation technology advancements to enhance our service and fulfill customers’ demand.”
”We are proud of our strong partnership with Ethiopian Airlines – the first airline in Africa to order and operate the A350-900. In another first, Ethiopian Airlines is once again leading the way in Africa’s aviation sector by introducing the A350-1000, the largest version of the world’s most efficient and technologically advanced passenger aircraft.” said Mikail Houari, President, Airbus Africa, and the Middle East.
“The A350-900 has delivered extraordinary capability, fuel efficiency, and operational reliability of 99.5 percent together with unbeatable operational flexibility and efficiency, from short to ultra-long-range operations.”
This is a strong commitment to the African market, especially with the -1000s having the capacity to seat more passengers than the -900 does.
By the end of June 2022, the A350 Family had received 940 orders from 52 customers.
Airbus Rubbing It In?
Airbus’ sales chief Christian Scherer continues to rub in these order announcements, although they could have been announced at the Farnborough Air Show last week.
With these orders coming through for Airbus, maybe they didn’t need the Farnborough Air Show to showcase new orders. Maybe the words from Airbus’ sales chief Christian Scherer were true.
Scherer mentioned that the private rooms in the Airbus chalet were busy and full of prospective customers. Maybe this is exactly what he was on about.
Earlier this week, the European planemaker signed a deal with German leisure carrier Condor for over 40 A320neo & A321neo family aircraft, which again was a surprise given the fact Farnborough wasn’t that long ago.
It seems clear that Airbus is having their own little airshow this week, especially with the order announcements that have been made, as well as what could be announced next week with Malaysia Airlines.
Looking ahead, it is going to be interesting to see what other announcements Airbus have in their back pocket, especially if it means giving the middle finger to journalists consistently in the second half of this year.
Even so, it is still good news for Airbus as they continue to secure some form of sales momentum off the back of a pretty quiet FIA22.