Ethiopian Airlines to decide on plane order by next week: WSJ

Reuters

(Reuters) - Ethiopian Airlines [ETHA.UL] will by the end of next week decide on which planes it will buy from Boeing Co and Airbus Group NV, as the carrier seeks to add as many as 70 new jets to its fleet, the firm's head told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Chief Executive Tewolde Gebremariam said the company would also later commit to adding 20 more long-haul planes to its fleet, the Journal reported on Thursday.

The deals could have a combined list price of over $11 billion, the Journal said. (http://on.wsj.com/1uxA0g5)

Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines could not immediately be reached for a comment outside of regular business hours.

The Journal quoted Gebremariam as saying that the carrier was considering purchasing either the Boeing 777X or Airbus' A350-1000. The deal would have a list price value of about $8 billion, depending on which model it settled on.

Airbus plans to deliver the A350-1000 beginning in 2017, while Boeing's 777X is due to be out a few years later.

Government-owned Ethiopian Airlines was also mulling placing 20 firm orders for either Boeing's 737 Max planes or the Airbus A320neo, with options to take 10 more planes, Gebremariam told the Journal. The value of the deal would be about $3.4 billion at list price.

The A320neo is due to enter service with airlines next year, while Boeing's 737 Max is set to be come out in 2017.

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