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.
Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, said: “We are phasing in the most modern cargo aircraft such as the B777-200LR freighter and building one of the largest cargo terminals in the world with the aim of expanding and improving our cargo service in support of our country’s and our continent’s growing imports and exports.
“The B777 freighter is unmatched in its fleet category and will be deployed on existing and new long routes for carriage of flowers, fruits, vegetables and meat.”
Ethiopian Cargo, among the largest cargo operators in Africa, currently flies to 24 freighter destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe using eight dedicated freighters, including wide-bodies such as the B777 and MD-11.