The Story Of Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 757 Fleet

Ethiopian Airlines is no stranger to Boeing narrowbodies. Indeed, aircraft from the US planemaker’s 737 series currently comprise its entire single-aisle fleet as far as jet-powered aircraft are concerned. However, the carrier has previously operated another Boeing twinjet, namely the 757. Let’s take a look at Ethiopian’s relationship with the type.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 757
Ethiopian’s first 757s arrived in the early 1990s. Photo: Raimund Stehmann via Wikimedia Commons

Three early ’90s arrivals

According to data from ATDB.aero, Ethiopian Airlines flew 10 passenger-carrying Boeing 757s over the years. These twinjets arrived in two distinct waves, with the first taking place in the early 1990s. This saw three brand-new passenger 757-200s join Ethiopian at the start of the decade. The first of these was ET-AKC, which came onboard in November 1991.

Within a year, two more of the twinjets had joined the first example. ET-AKE became part of Ethiopian’s fleet in April 1992, followed by ET-AKF in October that year. Data from ch-aviation.com shows that these aircraft featured a two-class seating configuration. This consisted of 144 economy class seats, and a 16-seat business class cabin.

Of these aircraft, ET-AKC and ET-AKE spent their entire career with Ethiopian, before the airline withdrew them in 2012. The former remains in storage in Addis Ababa, while the latter has been dismantled for spares and left derelict there. ET-AKF was withdrawn in 2012, but served with the Ethiopian Air Force before also entering storage, namely in the US.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 757
Ethiopian’s 757s wore multiple liveries over the years. Photo: Dean Morley via Flickr

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The second wave

The mid-2000s then saw a second influx of 757-200s at Ethiopian. Seven more examples came onboard during this time, of which the first was ET-ALY in December 2005. This ex-Transmeridian Airlines jet served Ethiopian for more than five years, eventually leaving March 2011 for Pegasus Aviation. It remains active today flying cargo for FedEx.

Interestingly, the other December 2005 ex-Transmeridian arrival was also the last 757-200 to leave Ethiopian. Registered as ET-ALZ, it served the carrier for more than a decade before departing in August 2016. It joined Russian operator Royal Flight the following year, and was withdrawn just four months ago in June. It is now in storage in Arkansas.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 757
The 757s that Ethiopian leased from AtlasGlobal wore a hybrid livery. Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons

Some of Ethiopian’s mid-2000s 757 arrivals were with the carrier for shorter spells. For instance, it leased two examples from AtlasGlobal in 2006. Both of these jets retained their Turkish registrations while at Ethiopian, as well as sporting the hybrid livery seen above. This hinted at a short stay, and, by March 2007, they had both returned to AtlasGlobal.

The final two 757-200s to join Ethiopian did so in June and July 2008. These twinjets came from Indianapolis-based low-cost carrier ATA Airlines, and bore the registrations ET-AMT and ET-AMU. They were also among the last to leave, departing in August and December 2015 to fly cargo for DHL, where they remain active to this day.

Ethiopian Cargo Boeing 757
Ethiopian also flew two cargo-carrying 757-200 freighters. Photo: Bob Adams via Flickr

Two cargo examples

As we have established, several ex-Ethiopian 757s went on to become cargo aircraft. However, the airline itself also flew two dedicated freighter version of the twinjet. The first of these (ET-AJS) joined the airline brand-new in August 1990. Interestingly, this made Ethiopian the first passenger-carrying airline to order and receive the freighter version. This aircraft eventually left the carrier in June 2018, and remains active today at Asia Pacific Airlines.

The second example actually joined Ethiopian in February 1991 as a passenger-configured aircraft. Registered as ET-AJX, it served the carrier for 15 years before its cargo conversion in 2006. It flew cargo for Ethiopian for more than a decade, before being withdrawn in October 2017. Following two canceled acquisitions, it is presently stored in Miami.

Did you know that Ethiopian Airlines used to fly the Boeing 757? Perhaps you even flew on one of these twinjets during their time at the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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