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Ethiopian Airlines and CFM International celebrated their decade long partnership, as the earlier has been CFM’s customer ever since it began flying using CFM56-7B-powered Next-Generation Boeing 737-700 aircraft back in 2003.
The celebration took place on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, in the presence of CFM International’s President and CEO, Jean-Paul Ebanga and Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.
CFM President commented on the occasion saying “as we celebrate our relationship with this fantastic airline, Ethiopian has worked hard to hear its much-deserved reputation for quality. The airline continues to maintain some of the best fleet reliability statistics in the industry and, in 2013, overhauled its first CFM56-7B engine. We are honored to work hand-in-glove with the team to support their 737 fleet today and look forward to introducing the new LEAP engine into this fleet in a few years.”
Tewolde on his part said, “we are very happy to celebrate this 10 years milestone between Ethiopian and CFM partnership. I wish to thank the entire CFM team, management and employees, for the strong support they continue to give us. We have invested about USD 21 Million to develop the CFM engine overhaul capacity, not just for our fleet but also for those of other African airlines with the view of becoming a preferred CFM engine service facility in the continent.”
CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation, a division of General Electric of the United States and Snecma, a division of Safran of France. The joint venture was formed to build and support the CFM56 series of turbofan engine.
Since its founding in 1974, CFM International has provided more than 23,000 engines for more than 500 customers throughout the world.
In related development Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of a third B777-200LR freighter, part of a strategic fleet expansion to support African exports of perishable cargo.
Ethiopian, still the only African operator of B777 freighters, said that the aircraft’s uplift, range, fuel efficiency and temperature control capabilities make it “perfectly suited for the transport of Ethiopia’s growing export of perishables, such as fruits, flowers, vegetables and meat”.
In line with its Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, the airline will phase in an additional B777-200LR freighter before the end of 2014 and two more in 2015.
It is also building a new cargo terminal with both cold and dry storage facilities, capable of handling 1.2m tons of cargo annually.
Currently Ethiopia flies to five continents serving more than 83 destinations. Its current fleet has reached more than 50 Boeing Airplanes out of which some are 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, 787 Dreamliners and a cargo fleet which includes 757 and 777 Freighters and MD-11s