The Ethiopian Airlines Group has ordered five Boeing 777 freighters. The state carrier looks to add the aircraft to its fleet of nine 777 freighters assigned to its network of 66 cargo centres across four continents. The planes have a payload capacity of 107tn. Ethiopian operates three 737-800 converted freighters, as well as a passenger fleet comprising more than 80 Boeing jets. The agreement comes following the appointment of Mesfin Tassew as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Group two months ago. He replaced Tewolde Gebremariam, who made an “early retirement” after managing the carrier for 11 years. The Group has been expanding the Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services, its cargo operations wing, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented serious disruptions to passenger flights. It carried 500,000tn of freight and 5.5 million passengers through Addis Abeba Bole International Airport, its main hub, in 2020. It has also been involved in transporting COVID-19 vaccines, ferrying over 50 million doses to 28 countries last year.
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