Ethiopian becomes first African A350 operator

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Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900

Ethiopian Airlines has become the first African operator to use an Airbus A350 XWB, having taken delivery of a -900 on 29 June.

The aircraft, on lease from AerCap, is the first of 14 A350 XWBs on order, with 12 coming direct from Airbus and two from AerCap. Ethiopian plans to use the aircraft to expand its network from Addis Ababa with Asia and America.

Airbus says the A350 features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon-fibre fuselage and wings, and fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, all of which reduces fuel burn and emissions by 25 per cent as well as significantly lowering maintenance costs.