By Tsehaye Debalkew, Washington D.C., August 16, 2012
A formidable chunk of cheering Diaspora Ethiopians attended the send off ceremony of the 787 Dream Liner to Ethiopia and hailed its acquisition, ranking Ethiopian as the pioneer in the latest and novice technology to conquer the skies in the African continent and the second globally only superseded by Japan, which was punctuated by a daylong cultural extravaganza and artistic musical gala was held at the Dulles International airport and the splendid Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. yesterday.
The function which was complimented by traditional Ethiopian cuisine coupled by European servings exuded by an added warmth and honor of high ranking dignitaries both from the US and Ethiopia representing the government, public and private sectors was graced by the presence of the former Deputy Prime Minister and current Board Chairman of Ethiopian, Addisu Legesse.
The Board Chairman acclaimed the enthusiasm, work ethic and stamina of the management and employees of ET for a job well done. He also acknowledged the enduring and vibrant partnership between ET and Boeing and made a timely and clarion call for other US investors to jump in and emulate Boeing by seizing the auspicious investment friendly atmosphere currently obtaining in Ethiopia.
Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to the US, Canada and Mexico who was also present on the momentous inaugural occasion expressed his joy and said that the 787 is truly a game changing aircraft, and the longtime dream has become a reality and asked the packed to the brim congregation to join him in congratulating Ethiopian Airlines for achieving this historic milestone, as promised.
As a representative of the Ethiopian Government here in the United States, he underscored by relating his experience and grimaced, "It always gives me a great pleasure to associate myself with this magnificent carrier. Whenever I try to prove to some friends in the diplomatic circle and elsewhere about successful state owned enterprises, it is Ethiopian Airlines that stands tall as my best example. Ethiopian is a show case company on how a fully state owned firm can be well managed when a visionary owner allows 100% independence in Management" he underlined.
The Washington D.C. resident Special Envoy added that the nature of the three different types of government that have administered Ethiopia during the last six decades have not as such negatively impacted on the successful course of Ethiopian Airlines operation.
He went on to add that, "My current government is a market friendly government that supports enterprises with very clear policies and defined incentive packages and strongly emphasized that, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia".
He further pledged that the Ethiopian government will continue to support the Ethiopian Airlines to continue to be a successful flag bearer and permanent Ambassador of Ethiopia the world over in order to pursue its flagship mission of fostering the ever ascending progress of the nation by expounding its positive image.
The Ambassador underlined the significance of the long and sustained partnership between ET and Boeing and extended his appreciation to the US administration for continuously supporting the development effort of Ethiopia.
Mr. Donald Yamamoto, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs on his part hailed the notable breakthrough that ET has made in accessing the latest technological mastery through its acquisition of the 787 Dream Liner and declared that this is a true reflection of the multi-faceted and multi-layered cooperation and cemented bond that exists between the US and Ethiopia.
Tewolde Gebre Mariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said on the occasion, "Today begins the first day in a new era of flying for our passengers and brings us even closer to our vision for the future, Vision 2025". He went on to declare that, "We are pleased to be the first airline in the world outside Japan to receive this technologically advanced aircraft. We have been waiting for this airplane and now that we officially have it and will show it to the world, I can say with pride, it was worth the wait. This airplane is going to move Ethiopian Airlines to the forefront of aviation leadership around the globe", he promised
"Today marks not just another milestone for Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines, but a new beginning in our 65-year partnership," said Van Rex Gallard, V/P of Sales for Africa, Latin America, & the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Ethiopian Airlines continues to show their strong leadership in African aviation and their growing presence around the globe and added that
being the first in Africa and one of the first in the world further confirms their position globally.