Today September 1, 2012, Ghana became part of Africa?s aviation history as Ethiopian Airlines landed its Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner aircraft in Accra.

The jumbo jet landed a few minutes after 11:00am from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, as ground crew members of the airline, airport staff and invited guests cheered in jubilation.

Ethiopian has named it ?First African?.

?The coming of the Dreamliner means a lot for Ethiopian Airlines and for Africa?s aviation industry. As you know that Africa?s aviation industry has been abysmal sometimes, but I believe this is a positive signal for the industry,? says the Ghana Area Manager for the airline, Mr. Michael Yared.

He says even with the arrival of the Dreamliner, passengers of Ethiopian Airlines will continue to enjoy the competitive fares and high quality in-flight services including in-flight entertainment that they are used to.

The Dreamliner has a spacious cabin. In economy class, the 787?s aisles are typically 55 centimeters wide. That is more than six centimeters wider than in typical twin-aisle airplanes. In business class, the 65-centimeter aisles will allow passengers to easily move past serving carts, an information sheet on the passenger jumbo says.

It has an eight-abreast economy seating arrangement and the wide fuselage provides the room for wide economy passenger seats ? 47 centimeters wide.

The 787 has the largest window on any of today?s airplanes (47 centimeters tall, 28 centimeters wide), the information sheet adds.

According to the plane?s manufacturers, it has 10 percent lower operating costs than today?s airplanes in its class, 20 percent more fuel efficient than today?s similarly sized airplanes, 20 percent fewer emissions than peer airplanes and 30 percent lower airframe maintenance costs.

It also has 40 percent more range than today?s airplanes in its class, 50 percent of the primary structure is composite materials ? a first for the industry and 60 percent smaller noise footprint than peer airplanes.

State-run Ethiopian Airlines since its inception in December 21, 1945 has grown into one of Africa?s most remarkable and high performing airline businesses.

In 2011-20012 Ethiopian Airlines generated (Ethiopian Birr) ETB 33.8 billion, approximately $1.9 billion according to its unaudited accounts.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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