Ethiopian Airlines and the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) of the United States have signed an agreement worth over $1.6 billion to support the financing of five B777-200LR and ten B787-8 aircraft and General Electric spare engines.
At a ceremony held at the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Washington DC on August 02, 2010, the financing documents were signed by Ethiopian Airlines CEO Girma Wake and Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. The magnitude of the transaction represents the first of its kind for the support of the African aviation industry.
Upon signing the agreement Girma Wake said, ”Ethiopian would like to thank the management and Board of the US Ex-Im Bank for their unreserved support to Ethiopian Airlines. This agreement has significant contribution towards the development and growth of our airline.” He added, “Our sincere thanks also go to the African governments, leaders and our customers for the unwavering support to the success of Ethiopian Airlines. The signing of this agreement reaffirms the principles and objectives for which the AGOA stands and vividly reflects the forum’s firm commitment to advance the growth of the aviation industry in Africa.”
The US Ex-Im Bank President and Chairman Fred P. Hochberg said, “It is a pleasure to continue to work with and support one of Africa’s premier air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines. In fact, looking back at our relationship and discussing our latest transaction with our transportation team and Boeing, our relationship with Ethiopian Airlines is one of the best in the world. I want to thank Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing and our transportation team for making this possible and I look forward to strengthening this relationship.”
The successful and mutually advantageous bondage between the U.S. Ex-Im Bank and Ethiopian Airlines has been developed over the last 30 years, culminating in more than 1.6 billion in Ex-Im Bank’s approval of final and preliminary commitments to support the export of the five Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and ten Boeing 787-8 aircraft and the General Electric spare engines for Ethiopian Airlines.
The 9th AGOA Forum brought together high-level officials and business leaders of Africa and the US to promote trade and economic ties between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the recent addition of flight services to Pointe Noire, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 39 cities in Africa and a total of 59 international destinations spanning throughout four continents.
Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 on November 25, 2009 and "Airline of the Year" award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) on November 24, 2009, bringing the total Awards honored since January 2009 to five.
In August, 2008, Ethiopian won "the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award” of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry.
Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.
Ethiopian was the winner of the ‘2008 Best Airline in Africa Award’ at the African Travel Award ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, for its excellent network and convenient connections in Africa.