Ethiopian Airlines' historic Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, made its maiden touch down on Saturday at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.
The acquisition of the aircraft named, ”Africa First”, makes Ethiopian Airlines the first airline on the African continent to acquire the B787 Dreamliner.
Mr. Michael Yared, Ethiopia's Area Manager-Ghana said the addition of the Dreamliner to their fleet meant a lot for the airline in terms of giving passengers comfort and value for money.
He said the Dreamliner would improve the business in Ghana and Africa in terms of passenger numbers, noting that the airline had had a successful business in Ghana for over 52 years. Its share of the market, he added, would only improve with the addition of the new aircraft.
Mr Yared said Ethiopian airlines had one of the youngest fleet with an average of seven years each, and exceeding IATA's recommendation.
Mrs Doreen Owusu Fianko, Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), said the arrival of the Dreamliner in Accra was a manifestation of the fact that the KIA was a small but highly efficient airport.
“It is an endorsement that the airport is well equipped, well managed and that the KIA is the best airport in Africa” she said.
Mrs Owusu Fianko said work was currently ongoing to further enhance facilities at the KIA, adding that work on the construction of the first part of parking spaces to accommodate wide bodied aircrafts such as the Dreamliner would be completed by the September or October.
“Our target is to give passengers a good travel experience and to make even the aircrafts comfortable landing at the KIA” she said.
Ethiopian Airlines, a star Alliance member, which operates an all-Boeing fleet, has a further nine 787 Dreamliners on order. The Dreamliner has a Business Class seating 24 passengers and 246 seats in economy.
The plane's manufacturer, Boeing says on its website that the Boeing 787 range of aircraft provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance.
“The airplane uses 20 percent less fuel than today's similarly sized airplanes. It will also travel at a similar speed as today's fastest wide bodies, Mach 0.85. Airlines will enjoy more cargo revenue capacity,” Boeing says.
According to Boeing, composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the 787 including the fuselage and wing.