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An Ethiopian 737 MAX 8 parked in Washington. (Photo: AirlineGeeks)

Ethiopian Airlines Increases Presence in India, Expands Cargo Fleet

On July 2, Ethiopian Airlines will commence twice-weekly flight operations to Chennai, India — which will join the vast Ethiopian network as the fourth destination in India after New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, India.

Ethiopian started its service to India with a debut flight to New Delhi in 1966 — just 20 years after the airline was founded. Ethiopian pioneered the air transport linkage between Africa and India.

Recently, Ethiopia marked its 50th anniversary of uninterrupted service to Mumbai — the commercial capital of India.

Flights to Chennai will fly a Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the Addis Ababa-Chennai, India route.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said, “I am excited that we are getting closer to our customers with our signature service and global connectivity options. We have been connecting Asia and Africa for 55 years now facilitating trade between the two continents. The addition of Chennai as a fourth passenger destination in India is a testimony of our resilience and unwavering commitment to serving our customers in India and the continent at large. We will continue to serve India with enhanced frequency and more destinations in the future. “

Chennai, India is a modern cosmopolitan city and the most prominent cultural, economic and educational center of South India. Ethiopia has been serving India without any interruption even during the pandemic, cementing the longstanding bilateral relationship between the two countries.

In addition to the opening of a new route, Ethiopian Airlines’ flight frequency to the cities of Mumbai and New Delhi will increase to double daily and ten weekly flights, respectively,  from July 2022.

India is one of Ethiopian Airlines’ key destinations in the Asian continent and Ethiopian currently flies to three passenger and five cargo destinations with its enhanced services and modern fleet.

The Airline’s Cargo Market

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines last week announced that the East African carrier is expanding its all-Boeing freighter fleet with an order for five 777 Freighters as the airline eyes opportunities in a buoyant cargo market.

The order was previously an unidentified order on Boeing’s orders and deliveries sheet.

Disclosing the order on Wednesday, Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said that “The addition of these five B777 Freighters into our cargo fleet will enable us to meet the growing demand in our cargo operation. While cementing our partnership with the Boeing Company with new orders, the growth of our freighter fleet takes the capacity and efficiency of our shipping service to the next level. We always strive to serve our customers with the latest technology aircraft the aviation industry could offer. Our Africa’s largest cargo terminal coupled with fuel-efficient freighters and well-trained cargo handling professionals will enable our customers to get the best quality shipment service. Customers can rely on Ethiopian for wide-ranging cargo services across five continents.”

The airline operates a fleet of nine 777 Freighters, utilizing the model’s range of 4,970 nautical miles or 9,200 km and a maximum structural payload of 107 tonnes or 235,900 lbs to connect Africa with 66 dedicated cargo centers throughout AsiaEurope, the Middle East and the Americas.

“We value the trust that Ethiopian Airlines places in the 777 Freighter to support their cargo ambitions which will provide them with increased capability and flexibility to their operations,” Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing, said. “Additional 777 Freighters will enable Ethiopian to capitalize on near-term cargo demand while positioning the airline for further expansion in the future.”

In early March 2022, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the carrier’s intent to purchase five 777-8 Freighters. The carrier also operates three 737-800 converted freighters, as well as a combined passenger fleet of more than 80 jets, including Boeing 737s, Boeing 767s, Boeing 777s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.


  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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