According to a Bloomberg report citing the airline’s CEO Tewolde Gebre Mariam, the state-owned company is at the final stages of striking a $1.6 billion deal with European plane manufacturer Airbus for the purchase of 20 narrow-body A220 aircraft.
ALSO ON RT.COMBoeing wants to pay families of MAX 737 crash victims $144,500 eachIt is not the first time the airline was looking at buying the 100-seat A220s for its fleet. However, last year it had decided to go for larger Boeing 737 family aircraft.
“It’s a good airplane – we have been studying it long enough,” Tewolde was cited as saying. The agreement is set to be completed by the end of the year.
According to Tewolde, the airline faced difficulties operating large Boeing 737 MAX, as it had to stop off at a second destination on flights from Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to cities including Windhoek in Namibia and the Botswana capital Gaborone in order to refuel the planes. He stated that operating Airbus A220s will allow direct flights with no additional stops.
ALSO ON RT.COMIndia plans its own tests of Boeing 737 MAX jets even if FAA clears them for takeoff in the USEuropean Airbus and US-based Boeing have long been rivals fighting for the airline market. However, following two deadly crashes earlier this year, Boeing’s most popular 737 MAX jets have been grounded due to an ongoing probe. Ever since, Airbus’ profits have been growing exponentially, while Boeing posted its largest-ever quarterly loss in July, calculating the total cost of the 737 MAX crisis at over $8 billion.
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