AIRBUS A350 DELIVERY DELAYS HIT ETHIOPIAN
(Posted 24th May 2017)
It is understood that Airbus will miss the delivery targets of A350’s to Ethiopian Airlines this year with some of the planes now very likely only joining ET’s fleet in 2018. It was the first time that Ethiopian sourced aircraft from outside the Boeing aircraft family, which however too hit ET at the time when the delivery of the first B787 Dreamliner was delayed for years before a temporary flight ban – following multiple incidents with the new lithium battery types on B787’s around the world – then added more challenges to the use of that aircraft type.
Ethiopian Airlines in addition had to deal with a fire on a parked B787 at Heathrow in July 2013 adding more woes to that aircraft’s reputation at the time.
This delivery delay is bound to put a damper on the airline’s expansion plans as the fleet renewal is taking a temporary hit.
Also in the balance, and the airline has failed to provide any meaningful updates beyond template responses, is the decision for a new smaller single aisle jet which according to their CEO was due either in late 2016 or early 2017, as stated on several occasions last year.
The delay of pending decision to acquire either aircraft of the Bombardier CS family, or alternatively Embraers or even the smallest B737 type, is also thought to have some impact on expansion plans though some sources have privately indicated that funding may be a major reason for the delayed decision.
Aircraft orders, when made public, ordinarily require airlines to pay down deposits to the manufacturers and when financing hangs in the balance are such decisions or announcements often held back.