ADDIS ABABA, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Ethiopian Airlines will get a $159 million loan from the African Development Bank to help finance an expansion plan that includes doubling the size of its fleet and increasing its revenue to $10 billion over the next decade.
The state-owned carrier has around 80 planes, including Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350-900 jets, and has 50 aircraft on order. It is considering buying either the 366-seat Airbus A350-1000 or Boeing's 777x long-haul jet.
"The Bank's support will allow Ethiopian Airlines to keep the momentum on its expansion plan and be on track on its route operating roadmap," the AfDB said in a statement on Thursday.
Ethiopian Airlines was ranked the largest in Africa by revenue and profit by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last year, with revenue of 49.4 billion birr ($2.22 billion) in the 2014/15 fiscal year exceeding a 43 billion birr target. It wants to increase revenue to $10 billion in ten years time.
It attributed the growth to a rise in passenger numbers and to an expansion of maintenance, catering and aviation training services. ($1 = 22.2600 birr) (Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Alexander Smith)