Ethiopian Airways has resumed the selection process for a 100-seat aircraft after more than two years. The African carrier is considering closing an order for jets to fill the gap between its Dash 8 turboprops and its Boeing 737s.
The candidates are the Airbus A220-100 and the Embraer E195-E2 of which it must acquire 10 aircraft in addition to 10 purchase options.
In an interview with Airline Weekly last week, Ethiopian CEO Mesfin Tasew Bekele hinted that the A220 would be preferred because it “fits better in the Ethiopian Airlines market”.
Bekele also revealed that Airbus offered better commercial terms for the acquisition, but did not want to anticipate when the company will make a decision.
The option for the smaller-capacity A220-100 has not been common. Most Airbus customers have preferred the A220-300 variant, which can carry up to 160 passengers, 25 more than its “smaller brother”.
The E195-E2, the largest version of the E2 family, can be configured with up to 146 seats, but is usually operated with fewer seats, such as the KLM (132 seats) and Azul (136).
Ethiopian intends to retire the six Boeing 737-700s that are currently in service after receiving the new jets.