Ethiopian set to start its "Fleet Doubling" orders this year

Ethiopian Airlines is planning to double its fleet by 2035 and the industry can expect orders later this year according to the Addis Ababa chief executive Mesfin Tasew.

The D328eco could be a contender to replace Dash 8 turboprop as Ethiopian is open to sids for its regional requirements (Image Deutsche Aircraft)

Tasew told aviation and data analytics specialist Cirium that the airline has a plan to grow its to fleet to 271 aircraft by 2035, from 143 today. Cirium reported that the airline plans to place the next order before the end of the year. It is widely expected that the additional aircraft will be both widebody and narrowbody.

Cirium fleets data reports the carrier's backlog includes orders for 17 Boeing 737 Max 8s plus options for a further five of the single-aisle, five 777Fs and four Airbus A350-1000s – totalling 27 aircraft

While the narrowbody selection is most likely to be more 737 Max  types the interesting question will be over the regional fleet. Increased traffic suggests that regional jets could replace the Dash-8 turboprops on some regional routes. However there is still a need for new turbnoprops although since De Havilland stopped production only ATR is offering new aircraft at this stage. Deutsch Aircraft is closing in on production of its D328 neo – a 40 seater aircraft that is “targeting Africa” according to its VP marketing at the recent Paris Airshow.

Tasew is a confirmed speaker at the Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition taking place  September 13-14 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria where he will talking about the airline's strategy.