Ethiopian began operating two MD-11 freighters last year – ET-AML (msn: 48758) and ET-AND (msn: 48780). ET-AML, seen here on short final at Liege, was converted by Aeronavali at the beginning of 2009 and entered service in early February, 2009.
Originally built for Garuda, this airframe has actually spent most of its life serving Brazilian carriers – first Varig and then TAM, until TAM phased out MD-11 pax operations. ET-AND, its sister ship at Ethiopian, is an ex-Finnair/Sabena bird. The carrier also wet leases two 747-200s from Southern Air.
Until these wide-bodies arrived, Ethiopian operated only two 757-200 freighters. This huge capacity bump presages the planned conversion of several existing pax 757s to freighters for Ethiopian. Ethiopian already has the largest cargo capacity of any African major carrier.
Long a well-respected airline, Ethiopian has grown a great deal in the last decade, and two signs of this success are just over the horizon. Next week Ethiopian will take delivery of its first 777 (a -200LR) and on September 29th the airline was invited to become part of the Star Alliance (it will take into 2011 for this to fully happen).
The photo of ET-AML was captured by contributor Wim Callaert.
Photographer: Wim Callaert. To see more of Wim’s work click here.
This photo is copywritten by and may not be used without the express permission of Wim Callaert.