ADDIS ABABA (HAN) November 11, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. The first Airbus A350-900 intended for use by Ethiopian Airlines is taking shape on the Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France. Ethiopian Airlines will be the first African airline to operate the A350 XWB when it takes delivery of the aircraft next year.
Ethiopian Airlines will be operating 14 A350 XWB Airbuses, of which 12 will be directly purchased from the company and another two leased from AerCap, including this first aircraft. The joining of various sections of aircraft fuselage has begun and the vertical stabilizer has been attached. Work has also commenced on joining the wings, and the horizontal tailplanes to the fuselage. The next stage will be fitting the undercarriage. All this is taking place in parallel with installation of the cabin interior and electrical power installation.
This allows for a significant reduction in completion time. After all this, the aircraft will undergo a comprehensive sequence of tests. Once those are completed, the aircraft is painted, its engines installed and preparations made for delivery. Ethiopian Airlines will deploy the aircraft on its expanding network linking Ethiopia with Asia and America.
An Airbus A350 XWB is arriving at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport on November 11 as part of a Middle East-Ethiopia demonstration flight tour. The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) will provide a major change in efficiency compared to existing aircraft in this size and category, as it uses 25% less fuel and an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. The plane has won 787 firm orders from 41 customers worldwide.