The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will make its debut on African soil on 11 December 2011 at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport. The Dreamliner will be in Addis for a few days as Ethiopian’s officials, employees, and invited guests have a closer look at the innovations and advanced technologies of the 787. The date also marks the eve of Ethiopian membership entry into the Star Alliance. "Ethiopian Airlines is very pleased to be the first African airline to receive the environmental leader, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Addis Ababa on its first tour to Africa," stated Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "We are also proud to be the first African airline to operate the 787, providing our passengers with better flight experience, continuing our tradition in leading improved performance standards and asserting our leadership on the continent." Captain Desta Zeru, Vice President Flight Operations, will fly the new aircraft from Haikou, China to Addis Ababa on 11 December 11 2011, becoming the first African captain to fly the 787. Captain Desta Zeru "The 787 Dreamliner is a game-changing airplane and we are delighted to be able to bring this innovative product to our customers who will soon be receiving their own 787s," said Ray Conner, Vice President of Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This airplane is now changing the way the world flies, and we want to share that excitement with as many people as we can." Africa's new 787 DreamLiner Ethiopian has an order for 10 Dreamliners and is the first African airline to receive the aircraft. Ethiopian’s first 787 is scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of 2012. Ethiopian plans to use the 787 to expand its existing destinations as well as its presence in more markets worldwide, including new destinations in the Far East. About Ethiopian Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the addition of new flight services to Milan, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 63 international destinations spanning four continents. Recently, Ethiopian received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the "AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011" Award for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and "Airline of the Year 2009" award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). 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.