Monday 27 August 2012

Ethiopia Air's Dreamliner makes a stop at MMAI

The Ethiopian Dreamliner 787-800 series aircraft has made its first landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.
The aircraft, tagged “Africa’s First Dreamliner’’, had registration number ET-AOQ, with capacity for 270 passengers.
It touched down at 14 .20 p.m. Saturday under the Chief Pilot, Capt. Zelalem Hailu.
Mr Solomon Bagshaw, the Airline’s Acting General Manager in Nigeria, joined by his other staff members, welcomed it with shouts of joy, saying: “our dreams have come into reality.’’
Bagshaw told journalists that the new aircraft had all the state-of-the-art facilities that would give comfort to passengers during flight.
He said the aircraft came to Nigeria because it was among the biggest and largest markets where the airline got its passengers and patronage in the past 52 years.
“With the long history of our operations with Nigeria, we feel that Nigeria should be the first country to enjoy this new technology,’’ he said.
Bagshaw said the new aircraft would provide customers with the most reliable and customer friendly service.
He said the aircraft was constructed with lightweight carbon, as opposed to heavy aluminum found on other planes, consuming 20 per cent less fuel.
He added that Japan Airline was the first to take delivery of the 787-800 series while Ethiopian Airline was the second in the world and the first in Africa to do same.
He said the airline would take delivery of the remaining four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft before the end of this year.
The general manager expressed appreciation to NCAA, FAAN, NAMA and the flying public for their support over the years.
On his part, Hailu described the aircraft as one of the most excellent aeroplanes now on the African continent.
The pilot said he had acquired 25 years of flying experience and that he was happy to be the first pilot to fly the Dreamliner in Africa and into Lagos from Addis Ababa Airport.
“I trained in London’s Gatwick Airport and that is where most of our pilots are currently undergoing their training to update their knowledge about aircraft operations’’, he said.
“It is very nice landing here in Nigeria and the flight from Addis Ababa to Lagos was very smooth.’’
The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines bought 10 of such aircraft from Boeing.
Each had an official price of 207million dollars with 198 million dollars paid on each for bulk orders.
The aircraft is expected to fly throughout Africa and Europe – especially Accra, Lagos, Rome and London. NAN


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