Africa's first Dreamliner lands at KIA

B787 at KIA
Kilimanjaro International Airport became the first African destination for the Ethiopian Airlines' newly acquired and highly coveted Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner.

The Dreamliner dubbed 'Africa's First,' taxied at KIA runaway on Monday, afternoon, amid cheers from spectators who gathered at Tanzania's second largest airport to witness the historic event, where the 389-seater aircraft landed for the first time.

Speaking during the occasion, an Ethiopian Airlines representative, Ms Nadia Ahmed, said the choice of Kilimanjaro as the Dreamliner's first destination only goes to reinforce the company's commitment in connecting Tanzania's Northern Zone Circuit to the world.

The Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO) Operations Manager, Mr Christopher Mukoma, said it was great honour for KIA to be the first African airport to handle the continent's only Dreamliner.

The Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tewolde Gebremariam, in a statement availed here said the first Ethiopian Dreamliner arrived on the continent touching down at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa on Friday, 17 August 2012.

"The first flight of Ethiopian Dreamliner dubbed 'The Dream Tour,' was conducted last Saturday; August 18, 2012, with a sightseeing flight to Mount Kilimanjaro for around 270 invited guests, consisting of ministers, ambassadors, other VIPs, Ethiopian Sheba Miles Gold Members and media".

The 787-800 Dreamliner, until recently was only operated by two Japanese airlines, is Chicago-based Boeing's most advanced plane. It is made out of lighter, composite material, 50 per cent of which is carbon fiber - that allows airlines to save on fuel costs.

Large windows provide a stronger connection to the outside world, on-board humidity is increased and the cabin pressure is closer to what it feels like on the ground. LED lights that slowly change colour is another feature designed to fight flight fatigue.

The Dreamliner will be operating on rotation basis to African destinations such as Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Harare, Lusaka, Nairobi, Entebbe, Lagos, Johannesburg, Abuja, Malabo, Douala, Lome, Accra, Maputo, Luanda as well as to Dubai, Mumbai, Rome, London and Frankfurt.

Kilimanjaro Airport is becoming busy again with introduction of new landings for other carriers such as Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways and according to tourism minister Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, other airlines including the Emirates, will be introducing flights soon.
Source: The Daily News, http://www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Marc Nkwame in Arusha

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