Ethiopian Airlines Close to Deal to Order Airbus A220 Planes
Using A220s will make direct flights viable.
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October 4, 2019 - by John Bowker with assistance by Nizar Manek for bloomberg.com
- Africa's biggest carrier wants up to 20 of the narrow-bodies
- Former Bombardier model will serve smaller markets in region
Ethiopian Airlines Group is close to agreeing a deal with Airbus SE for as many as 20 narrow-body A220 planes worth more than $1.6 billion, reviving an earlier plan after a spell using larger Boeing Co. 737s.
Africa's biggest and most consistently profitable carrier is in late-stage talks about the purchase of the 100-seater aircraft, which should be completed by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said in an interview at the state-owned airline's head office in Addis Ababa.
The move would be a reversal of a decision last year to try flying larger planes to cities including Windhoek in Namibia and the Botswana capital Gaborone.
To fill those jets, Ethiopian had to stop off at a second destination such as Victoria Falls on the way, the CEO said. Using A220s will make direct flights viable.
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