15 AUGUST 2016
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Last night (Sunday 14 August), Star Alliance member Ethiopian Airlines became the first carrier to operate the Airbus A350 on long-haul routes out of Heathrow (LHR), the non-stop destination Addis Ababa. It was also the lead LHR carrier with the Boeing 787. The Addis service is daily.
Under the tutelage of Tewolde Gebremariam, the government-owned airline has emerged as one of Africa’s leading carriers, winning many awards. Gebremariam, who joined the airline in 1985, is also a member of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Speaking at the aircraft’s handover in Toulouse he said: “Ethiopian has been a pioneer leader in owning and operating cutting-edge aviation technologies in the African continent and the delivery of the A350 XWB is a continuation of that tradition. Moreover, fleet expansion being one of the four pillars of our 15-year strategic roadmap dubbed Vision 2025, we are continually modernising our fleet capability to support our ever-expanding network and for the extra comfort and satisfaction of our customers.”
The Rolls-Royce Trent-powered A350 is two-class, the front end called ‘Cloud 9’, outfitted with 30 fully lie-flat seats in a 2+2+2 configuration and Economy with 313 seats laid out 3+3+3 and a 32in seat pitch.
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