Ethiopian Airlines has received the first of eight Q-400 Next Generation turboprop aircraft from Canadian Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc. on March 21, 2010.
The Q-400 made its maiden flight including a refueling stop in St. John’s, Canada, then a transatlantic cross over to Santa Maria, Portugal followed by refueling stop in Cairo, Egypt before the last flight to Addis Ababa.
The flight was accorded a warm welcome at the Bole International Airport by H.E Ato Getachew Mengistie, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ato Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian, senior officials of the airline and invited guests.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEO Ato Girma Wake said, “Ethiopian Airlines plays a critical and major role in bringing the cities of the different regions of Ethiopia within easy reach of Addis Ababa, the capital. This effort will be further enhanced with the introduction of Q400 NextGen aircraft.” He further stated about the particular attention given to develop the domestic service, advising the establishment of a department in charge of the domestic operations.
The new 78 seater aircraft will support the ever increasing tourism market of the country and domestic business travel, which is growing fast along side the economy. Besides, the aircraft will serve Ethiopian regional routes.
Currently, Ethiopian provides domestic flight service with Boeing 737 and Fokker aircraft to its 17 domestic destinations.
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 Mombasa and Monrovia, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 37 cities in Africa and a total of 58 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.