Aviation News

November 22, 2010

Exclusive Look On-Board Ethiopian Airlines’ First Boeing 777-200LR: Photo Gallery

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Written by: David Lilienthal
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Ethiopian Airlines ET-ANN Boeing 777-200LR

As NYCAviation reported last Wednesday, Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of a significant airplane: ET-ANN is Ethiopian’s first 777, the African continent’s first -200LR and the 900th 777 to roll off of Boeing’s assembly lines. On Wednesday after taking delivery of the shiny new jet at Boeing’s Paine Field (PAE) manufacturing facility, pilots ferried the aircraft to Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle for a formal delivery ceremony featuring speeches from Ethiopian and Boeing execs, as well as from Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Airlines ET-ANN Boeing 777-200LR

Ethiopian Airlines’ new 777-200LR (ET-ANN) at the formal delivery event in Seattle. (Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren)

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.

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS…

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!

(Photos by David Lilienthal)

NYCAviation would like to thank: Ethiopian Airlines, Seatac International Airport, and Boeing for their contributions to this article.



About the Author

David Lilienthal





 
 

 

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  • The 19th picture, the caption says symbols. Correction should be made. They are not symbols but Ethiopian language letters or script (translated as Ethiopian).

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