The arrival of the giant 289-seater aircraft, the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft in the world, was a spectacle for both local and Ethiopian nationals who thronged the Harare International Airport, as it taxied on the runway and received the traditional water canon salute, reserved for aeroplanes making their maiden landing.
The plane's landing at the airport was its third on African soil and underlined the importance of Harare as a major hub for air travel in Southern Africa and Africa as a whole. The plane, dubbed "Africa's first", is one of 10 Dreamliners ordered by Ethiopian Airlines to service mostly African routes.
The Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It seats 265 passengers in economy class and 24 in business class. It is Boeing's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction.
The 787 consumes 20 percent less fuel than the similarly-sized 767. Its distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour.
Mr Munodawafa urged the Civil Aviation Authority to continue to maintain high standards and woo more airlines to land in the country.
"We need to retain every plane that lands here. It is within our capacity -- it can be done," he said.
Advocate Mudenda paid tribute to Ethiopian Airlines for being one of the few airlines to continue flying into Zimbabwe at a time when other airlines were pulling out due to negative publicity the country was attracting internationally during the first decade of the new millennium. Ethiopian Airlines flights to Zimbabwe from United Kingdom are major participation which very low prices from all other airlines.
Ethiopian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Koang Dung said the arrival of the Dreamliner was a reaffirmation of Ethiopia's commitment to its friendship with Zimbabwe that has seen its airline flying to Zimbabwe consistently since 1982.
"My country attaches great importance to its friendship with Zimbabwe and that is why it moved swiftly to establish air links with the country in 1982 soon after its independence," he said.