By Our Reporter
Ethiopian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 aircraft, the first to be owned by an African carrier, touched down at the Kigali International Airport at 12:15pm Kigali time on July 19.
The aircraft is the first of 14 new A350-900 aircraft deliveries on long-term lease to Ethiopian Airlines from AerCap’s order book with Airbus. A second new A350-900 aircraft is expected to be delivered to Ethiopian Airlines next month.
Welcoming the new aircraft at the Kigali International Airport were elated Ethiopian Airlines officials, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority officials, as well as Ethiopian and Rwandan media.
Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana, the minister of state in charge of transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure, commended Ethiopian Airlines for bringing the “amazing new machine” to Kigali.
“We thank Ethiopian Airlines for coming to Kigali to show us this amazing new machine. We’ll always work hard to strengthen our economic ties with Ethiopia,” he said.
Workie Abadi, the country manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Rwanda, remarked: “We are happy to bring this amazing aircraft to Rwanda because this country is our second home. We call Rwanda our second home because we have been operating in Rwanda nonstop since 1975.”
Ethiopian’s latest addition to its ever-increasing fleet of aircraft is currently on a five-week continental tour and will visit most of the carrier’s 45 destinations across the continent by the end of this month.
“The fact that this is a brand new aircraft shows that Africa’s aviation industry is progressing,” Abadi said.