Ethiopia's national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) announced on Sunday it plans to double its aircraft fleet to reach 200 within seven years.
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Speaking to Xinhua, Busera Awol, Chief Commercial Officer at ET, said the ambitious plan to double the aircraft fleet in a relatively short period of time is part of the airlines' plan to keep its top position among African airlines.
"Earlier this month, ET celebrated the arrival of its 100th aircraft, it plans to add 19 more aircraft in the next 10 months as it strives to keep its status as Africa's most successful airlines," said Awol.
He said with Ethiopian Airlines celebrating opening 112th route with the third largest U.S. city Chicago on June 10 and planning more than half a dozen new destinations in the second half of 2018 alone, the acquiring of additional aircraft is of urgent priority.
"ET plans to add the Spanish city of Barcelona, Jakarta the capital of Indonesia, Turkey's largest city Istanbul and Russia's capital city Moscow and the Southern Chinese city Shenzhen in the second half of 2018, significantly expanding its global flight networks," said Awol.
Ethiopian Airlines also plans to consolidate its grip on the African air service market in the coming months with regional hubs across the continent, including in Conakry, Guinea, Ndjamena, Chad, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Maputo, Mozambique and Lusaka, Zambia.
Ethiopian Airlines currently has daily passenger flights to Guangzhou and Beijing and three times a week passenger flights to Chengdu as well as daily passenger and cargo flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier and the fourth in the world to fly to China back in 1973. ■
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