Ethiopian Airlines has decided to convert four pending A350-900 orders into the highest-capacity variant, A350-1000, Airbus revealed on Thursday.
The Ethiopian carrier will be the first in Africa to operate the model. Ethiopian has an agreement for 22 A350 aircraft, 16 of which have already been delivered. That leaves two A350-900s and four A350-1000s.
“The A350-1000 is the best fit for our dense routes, and we believe that the upsizing will be instrumental in satisfying the increasing demand of customers in our vast global network across five continents. We will continue on keeping ourselves abreast of aviation technology advancements. to enhance our service and fulfill customers’ demand,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew.
The A350-1000 can carry up to 410 passengers in a three-class configuration, 60 more than the A350-900. In addition, it offers a superior range of almost 800 km.
Although it is a conversion of an existing order, Ethiopian’s four A350-1000s are the second deal for the aircraft in 2022. Only Qantas Airways selected Airbus’ current largest production aircraft this year when it placed an order for 12 jets in late June.
So far, there are 164 firm orders for the A350-1000, 64 of them delivered as of last month.