Boeing's (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner touched down in Ethiopia's capital today to kick off the Africa portion of Boeing's 787 Dream Tour – a six-month worldwide tour featuring the Dreamliner. This is the first time the Dreamliner has visited the African continent.
The Dream Tour airplane will be in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and home to Ethiopian Airlines, Dec. 11-14 before it travels to Nairobi, Kenya. During the four-day stop, Ethiopian Airlines executives and employees, government officials and other guests will have a chance to view the airplane, including the interior.
"Aviation throughout Africa continues to grow at a pace faster than the world average and it is airplanes like the game-changing 787, and airlines like Ethiopian Airlines, that will help spur that growth," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 787 is the perfect airplane to carry Africa into the future of aviation due to its low operating costs, size and range. Boeing is very pleased to showcase this airplane to the customers who put their faith in Boeing and the cutting-edge technology of this airplane."
The airplane, ZA003, was originally used for flight testing but has been elegantly refurbished to showcase the standard capabilities and features of the 787 including an interior that highlights the many passenger-preferred features of the airplane.
"Ethiopian Airlines will be the first airline in Africa to operate this great new flying machine," said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "Ethiopian Airlines is very pleased to welcome the Dreamliner to Addis Ababa. Being able to see firsthand the many benefits the airplane promises to bring like the biggest windows in the industry, spacious cabin, LED-lighting, and other interior features was a great experience when the airplane arrived. Our valued passengers will also soon be able to see and experience the many benefits of this technological marvel."
Made from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes and will allow airlines to open new, non-stop routes preferred by the traveling public. As a result of innovative technologies, the airplane offers unparalleled operating economics, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. More than 800 787s are on order by more than 50 airlines, a testament to the airplane's unique capabilities.