Ethiopian Mulls Bombardier C Series, Embraers for Local Routes

  • Choice between models to be made before end of year, CEO says
  • Airline awaiting delivery of 52 planes for Asian, U.S. routes

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise is evaluating an order for as many as 30 short-haul aircraft from Bombardier Inc. or Embraer SA as it seeks smaller planes to serve routes within Africa.

A choice between Bombardier’s C Series model and Brazil-based Embraer’s E-jet series will be made by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam said in an interview at the International Air Transport Association’s annual gathering in Dublin.

The aircraft, competitors in the 100-to-150-seat range, will add to the 52 of various sizes that Ethiopian already has on order.

Embraer Chief Commercial Officer John Slattery met with Gebremariam for discussions at the IATA meeting, while a Bombardier order would further bolster the C Series program after the Canadian company secured a Delta Air Lines Inc. deal for 75 planes with a list price of $5.6 billion in April.

Ethiopian, Africa’s largest by revenue, is opening a new route to New York in June and plans growth in the U.S. and Asia, including flights to Hanoi in Vietnam and Jakarta, Indonesia, which could require additional aircraft orders, Gebremariam said.