The Fokker 50 aircraft were sold in the continued efforts to modernize the airlines said Tewolde Gebremariam Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines.
The Fokker 50s will be operated by a new airline, Pacific Royale, explained Tewolde. The first Fokker was to be delivered by the end of December according to Tewolde.
A Fokker 50 aircraft is valued at an estimated 7 million although Ethiopian Airlines has declined to disclose the details of the sale agreement.
With the sale of the Fokker 50s Ethiopian is considering the purchase or lease of more Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Eight Q 400 aircraft acquired by Ethiopian in 2010 are operation on regional routes previously serviced by Fokker 50s.
The deal for the Bombardier aircraft is still in the early stages of negotiations which may result in a purchase or long term lease according to Tewolde.
Bombardier declined to comment on its negotiations with Ethiopia on grounds that discussions with customers and prospective customers are confidential. The aircraft manufacturer will acknowledge an actual order with a press release describing all relevant details according to John R. Arnone, Manger, Media and Public Relations of Bombardier.
In related news Ethiopian Airlines has announced new nonstop flight between Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Muscat, Oman. Ethiopian will make the flight to Muscat six times a week according to a press release from the airline.
Ethiopian Airlines is pleased to commence flight services to Oman which has been nominated as the ‘Arab Tourism Capital 2012’ by the Arab League said Tewolde in a press release.