Ethiopian Airlines will become the first African and third worldwide airline to put Boeing’s new composite-bodied 787 Dreamliner into service.
The airline will take delivery of the first of 10 Dreamliners it has on order Tuesday at Boeing’s Everett flightline.
The airline said it will initiate service first within the African continent and then expand service to more distant destinations as it becomes familiar with the new aircraft.
As configured for Ethiopian, the plane will offer 270 seats.
Only two Japanese airlines, All Nippon and Japan Air Lines, now have the 787 in regular commercial service.
The Dreamliner is designed to cut operating costs by as much as 20 percent compared with existing mid-sized, long-range jets.
The 787 is largely built of composites instead of metal. Composites are lighter than metal and are immune from corrosion that affects metal aircraft.
The airline said it expects to have five of the new planes in service by the year’s end.