Ethiopian Airlines plans to buy 10 of Airbus SE’s newest A350 wide-body jets in a transaction worth more than 3 billion US dollars at advertised prices, according to people familiar with the plan.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest carrier already has an order for 12 -900 variants, though it has also been looking at the stretched -1000, as well as Boeing Co.’s rival 777-8, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam said last year.
Ethiopian Airlines wants more wide-body aircraft to help extend a hub-based business model that relies on transferring lucrative inter-continental travelers via its home base in Addis Ababa to and from destinations across Africa.
According to Bloomberg, the airline didn’t respond to repeated calls and emails seeking comment. A spokesman for Airbus said it doesn’t comment on discussions with customers.
Ethiopian is separately weighing an order for Bombardier Inc.’s Q400 turboprop and C Series single-aisle jet against models from Embraer SA, it said in May.