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Photos: Ethiopian Airlines Becomes Africa's First A350 XWB Operator
China Aviation Daily | Jun. 29, 2016

Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A350 XBW in Toulouse, France on June 28, becoming the 1st airline in Africa and the 7th worldwide to operate the new-generation wide-body aircraft.

The A350-900 aircraft, Registration ET-ATQ, took off from Toulouse airport at 2:53 a.m. on June 29 as a delivery flight to Africa.

Ethiopian says it will primarily operate its first A350 on routes from Addis Ababa to Lagos and Dubai. The flag carrier will launch the first A350 revenue flight to Lagos, Nigeria on Friday, July 1.

"Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in the cabin is one of the four pillars of our 2025 15-year strategic road map and the introduction of the A350 is a major component of this strategy. It will enable us to further expand our service quality especially on our long-haul flights and strengthen our connectivity whilst emitting the lowest possible carbon emission to our planet," said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines.

The carrier has ordered 14 A350 aircraft, of which 12 are directly purchased from Airbus and two are on lease from AerCap, including this first aircraft.

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