Back in 2016, Ethiopian Airlines proudly took delivery of its first Airbus A350. Over the past four years, the African giant has accepted 13 more, and now an additional two have joined the fleet. The two widebodies flew from Toulouse to Addis Ababa early today on November 7th, within minutes of one another, making for another rare ‘double delivery.’
Double delivery day
On November 7th at 01:35 and 01:39, two brand new A350s left Airbus’ assembly facilities in Toulouse (France) for Ethiopian Airlines’ hub in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The journey took just under six and a half hours and had the aircraft arriving at their new home at 10:00. The two flights were ET9201 and ET9203.
The new jets are registered as ET-AYA (nicknamed ‘Geneva’) and ET-AYB (nicknamed ‘Singapore’). According to AIB Family Flights, the former was first spotted in Toulouse without its engines in March of this year. The latter was first seen in January. Since then, Airbus had been preparing the jets, conducting four test flights, and a fifth customer acceptance flight.
All times listed above are local.
An airplane delivery also loaded with cargo
Similar to Boeing’s Humanitarian Delivery Flight Program, the A350s were loaded with donated humanitarian supplies. The people of Ethiopia have benefitted greatly from this as many Ethiopian Airlines flights have participated in both Boeing and Airbus humanitarian initiatives.
“We have taken delivery of 2 brand-new A-350 aircraft on the same day,we have also donated humanitarian medical equipment brought on-board the delivery flight of these brand-new aircraft to Ethiopian Ministry of Health at a grand event held today at ET Cargo & Logistics Services.” -Ethiopian Airlines via Twitter
It's double delivery day! ✈️✈️ We're pleased to see two #A350 joining @flyethiopian's fleet today. It’s also an opportunity to carry much needed humanitarian goods in cooperation with the @AirbusFdn.https://t.co/6lFQYPBWP4 pic.twitter.com/LmjC2PA29y
— Airbus (@Airbus) November 7, 2020
The Airbus A350 and Ethiopian Airlines
The A350 is one of the newer types at Ethiopian Airlines. Once a strong all-Boeing jet fleet, the airline decided to diversify and take on Airbus jets as well. The airline now has 16 of the jets, which are all configured to accommodate 30 business class passengers and 318 in economy class.
While the airline is making good use of its Airbus fleet during a time of reduced travel demand, there are two A350s are currently listed as stored – ET-AUB and ET-AVC.
The A350 as a type is actually Ethiopian’s only Airbus jet. All other jets are from Boeing and range from the Next Generation 737 to the 767, 777, and 787.
Simple Flying had a special chance to board an Ethiopian Airlines A350 almost exactly one year ago when the aircraft type arrived at Toronto Pearson International. The event marked the first Ethiopian Airlines A350 at Pearson and was celebrated with champagne and cake and a round of speeches.
Have you flown on an Ethiopian Airlines A350 before? Please share your experience with us in the comments.