THE third Airbus (A350 XWB) of the Ethiopian Airlines -- received on the first day of February this year and immediately named after Erta Ale, a large basaltic shield volcano located in the Afar Region of North Eastern Ethiopia – has finally touched down at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in Northern Tanzania.

Ethiopian Airlines Airbus touches down at KIA

The Ethiopian Airlines’ Traffic and Sales Manager in Northern Zone of Tanzania, Ms Fitsimt Dejene, told the ‘Daily News’ that the new aircraft has a configuration of 30 Cloud Nine business class and 313 economy class seats. Ethiopian was the first African Airline to take delivery of Airbus A350 XWB in 2016 -- part of the airlines’ continuous fleet modernization programmes.

It is recalled that in 2012, the first flight of Ethiopian Dreamliner dubbed ‘The Dream Tour’ went on a sightseeing flight over Mount Kilimanjaro with around 270 invited guests, consisting of ministers, ambassadors, Ethiopian Sheba Miles gold members and the media.

The Dreamliner is a regularly scheduled aircraft for Ethiopian’s daily flight to Kilimanjaro International airport. Ms Dejene noted that both the B-787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A-350 are the most technologically advanced airplanes in the world to date.

“We are highly delighted that we are one of the very few airlines in the world to own and operate both airplanes at their early stage in service. Ethiopian Airlines customers will have the special privilege of experiencing the superior features and services of both airplanes,” she echoed.

There are eleven more Airbus aircraft on order, and are environmentally green airplanes, enabling the company to expand its vast network to new and exciting destinations like Oslo in Norway, Singapore, Chengdu in China, Jakarta in Indonesia, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Antananarivo in Madagascar.

She noted that on board the game changing aircraft, passengers would experience the latest high-definition touchscreen personal monitors with more movies, television series, and audio channels.

“Passengers will also enjoy the wider seats and larger windows, the lowest twin engine noise level in the skies and an advanced air conditioning technology. All of these amenities will enhance comfort and reduce jet-lag after a long flight,” the officer noted.

The Airbus is scheduled to operate on the routes of the United Kingdom, Germany and France that are major tourist source markets for Tanzania; and passengers will have an overall better travel experience to arrive at Kilimanjaro airport.