For all the problems Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has had -- a global grounding, delays, mechanical issues -- airlines would be forgiven for being skeptical of the new jet.
But for one of the Dreamliner's biggest supporters, patience with the jet is paying off.
Ethiopian Airlines, which has had problems of its own with the Dreamliner, was the first airline to fly the plane commercially after its global grounding. Now the company says the Dreamliner was integral in the company reaching record (unaudited) net profit last year of 2.03 billion birr (about $106 million), up from 734 million birr (about $39 million). As the Associated Press reports:
Tewolde [Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines] said the performance is a result of “exceptionally dedicated employees” and the Boeing 787 planes he described as super-efficient. He said the planes helped the company save on fuel costs.
And it's not just talk, Ethiopian Airlines recently said it plans to boost its Dreamliner fleet from five to 13 by the end of 2015. "If Boeing can produce them then we will add more," said Tewolde, according to the The Economic Times.
The bottom line: That one of Africa's largest airlines is touting the 787 for its profit-growing, fuel-saving potential -- Boeing's main selling point -- is some much-needed good news for Boeing and could help ease any doubts other airlines might have about the jet.
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