Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes debut in Ethiopia for African tour




(Xinhua) -- Touring the world, Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Sunday touched down in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, first on Africa's soil.

After a four-day stay in Ethiopia, the aircraft will fly to Nairobi, Kenya as part of Boeing's 787 Dream Tour, a six-month worldwide tour featuring the Dreamliner.

Ethiopian's officials, employees and invited guests on Monday started having a closer look at the innovations and advanced technologies of the 787 at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

Briefing journalists at the airport, representatives from Boeing said the company has been a partner with the Ethiopian Airlines for many years.

According to the Ethiopian Airlines, Vice President Flight Operations of the Ethiopian Airlines Desta Zeru flew the new aircraft from Haikou, China to Addis Ababa, becoming the first African captain to fly the 787.

"Aviation throughout Africa continues to grow at a pace faster than the world average and it is airplanes like the game-changing 787, and airliners like Ethiopian Airlines, that will help spur that growth," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of sales for Africa, Latin America & Caribbean of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"The 787 is the perfect airplane to carry Africa into the future of aviation due to its low operating costs, size, and range. Boeing is very pleased we are able to showcase this airplane to the customers who put their faith in Boeing and the cutting-edge technology of this airplane," said Gallard.

Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines, said the Ethiopian Airlines will be starting flying with Boeing 787 between April and June in 2012.

"The Ethiopian Airlines will be the first airline in Africa to operate this great new flying machine," said the CEO.

"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," said the CEO in a press statement.

"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," he said.

Ethiopia has ordered 10 Dreamliners and is the first African airline to receive the aircraft, the statement said, adding Ethiopian Airlines 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.

Source: Xinhua ( Liang Shanggang )

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