Chinedu Eze

It was a historical feat when Africa’s most profitable airline, Ethiopian brought its first delivery of Airbus A350 XWB to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos recently.

The elated airline officials, airport managers and the media witnessed the arrival of the new aircraft, which is the first to be owned by an African airline.

Welcoming the new aircraft, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Folarin Coker commended the airline for bringing the new ‘baby’ to Lagos, a strategic route for the airline and praised Ethiopian Airlines for appreciating the importance of Lagos to its operations.

In his opening speech, the General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Nigeria, Solomon Bengashaw, said that the year 2016 has a special meaning for the airline because it has reached many milestones, adding that the excitement in the airline would remain unabated because this year is the 70th anniversary of Africa’s most formidable carrier.

He said: “As a pan-African airline, Ethiopian is committed to introducing into the continent the latest and most advanced aviation technologies and systems of the century. Ethiopian Airbus will continue to roar in the African skies and beyond, but the question is which city is to host this state-of-the-art aircraft first in the African soil?

“Indeed the answer is obvious and you all are here to witness and confirm that the first African Airbus A350-900 arrived the Nigerian soil, particularly Lagos first time ever. It’s also another honor and milestone for Ethiopian airlines and the Nigerians and particularity MMIA to welcome the first commercial flight of the A350 to the land of Lagos.”

He recalled that about four years ago, another Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing B787 Dreamliner and the first in Africa arrived Lagos amid great excitement.

“The fact that we are ushering in another first to Africa in a span of four years is an affirmation of our continuing pioneering role in African aviation. It is also a testimony of our commitment to give our passengers the very best travel experience, with the latest industry products and services. On behalf of all my colleagues at the Ethiopian family, I am delighted to see Ethiopian to continue making Africa first in aviation technology,” he said.

According to him, Ethiopian Airline has done its part by bringing the best to the Nigerian travel industry to ensure that travel business and tourism would flourish and also be catered by the most advanced and safety reliable equipment.