Exclusive Look On-Board Ethiopian Airlines’ First Boeing 777-200LR: Photo Gallery
The importance of the aircraft was lost on no one during our viewing. Ground crews from around the field stopped by to gawk or take a quick walk through. Crew members were checking out the cockpit, but quickly cleared out upon mention of the spacious crew rest areas. If one didn’t know better one might’ve thought that the south satellite terminal was a tourist attraction on Friday, with baggage trucks and support vehicles crowded around.
Their new 77L opens new routes for Ethiopian, like non-stop flights from Addis Ababa to Washington DC, Beijing and beyond. But this plane represents far more than an expanding route map or business model. The flagship plane generated serious buzz and excitement that lasted through the week. NYCAviation was on hand for the ceremony at BFI and the departure of its first revenue flight, a one-time-only route operating SEA-IAD-ADD.
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At the gate, we were offered an uninhibited tour of the aircraft, front to back. The interior of the plane is not much different from other 777s. Seating upholstery is a subtle reminder of the national colors with yellow or green covering coach seats, and red in first class. Seatback mounted personal entertainment displays are impressively large, a welcome and necessary amenity on a plane that can connect nearly any city pair on earth!
Flight and cabin crew rest areas are both accessed by impossibly narrow and steep passages. The flight crew’s area has twin beds and arm chairs. The rear rest area is accessed from the bulkhead that divides coach into two sections. A set of three beds are found both forward and aft of the ladder.
The most awesome part of the entire tour was the excitement and pride of the Ethiopian Airline staff as they boarded their new plane. The flight attendants boarded the aircraft beaming, each one a little more than the one came before. Ground crew and airline executives alike were all smiles as they had a chance to walk through the aircraft and admire its beauty before boarding got underway. Perhaps frenzied by new airplane smell, their eagerness had a certain quality usually reserved for children. The new triple seven was an undeniable source of pride, and there would be no chance to exit the plane without taking a number of group shots and portraits.
Congratulations to the people of Ethiopia on taking delivery of their new Boeing 777-200LR!
NYCAviation would like to thank: Ethiopian Airlines, Seatac International Airport, and Boeing for their contributions to this article.