Africa’s aviation leader acquires a new-generation Airbus


Ethiopian Airlines has signed a 12-year contract with Ping An Leasing for the lease of a new Airbus A350 XWB.

The Ethiopian company, considered Africa’s leading carrier, took possession of its fourth A350 XWB (extra-wide body) from Airbus on 28 April. The aircraft was acquired and immediately leased to Ethiopian Airlines by one of the main new players on the international leasing market, Ping An Leasing, a subsidiary of China's foremost private insurance firm Ping An Insurance Group (ranked at 39th in the 2017 Fortune Global 500 Companies). Having responded to a request for financing within a very short timeframe, Societe Generale participated in the success of this transaction, accompanying its clients as arranger and lender.

Once again, Societe Generale demonstrated its close affinity with the aviation sector, the influence of which in the development of global economies is confirmed each year as it favours the exchange of equipment, people, capital, technologies and ideas, and provides nearly 70 million jobs worldwide. At the cutting edge of innovation, the aviation sector is fully committed to sustainable growth, fostering the commissioning of new-technology aircraft with increasingly fuel efficient engines as part of a drive to enable the sector to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050.


Ethiopian Airlines will continue with its leadership role in fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities, focusing as much on sustainability and social responsibility as on pure business performance,

Tewolde GebreMariam
Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines

The Airbus A350 XWB is a new-generation aircraft made from lighter materials with more efficient engines that are quieter (to such an extent that the aircraft has been nicknamed the “hushliner”) and offer a reduction in fuel consumption of nearly 25% in relation to the previous generation, with a sharp reduction in CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions.   

This aircraft joins the Ethiopian Airlines fleet in the context of its 15-year strategic plan to become the leader in the modernisation and connectivity of African economies. It is also the first widebody aircraft to be added to the Ping An Leasing portfolio, reflecting the lessor's attachment to this latest-generation model.

The Airbus Foundation took advantage of the delivery flight between Toulouse and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to join forces with the German NGO humedica e.V and Aviation Without Borders to fly nine tonnes of humanitarian goods to provide relief to drought prone areas in the East African region.

Being the first wide body aircraft of Ping An Leasing and our second financing transaction with Societe Generale, we greatly appreciate Societe Generale’s professionalism to continuously support our growth,

Managing Director, Head of Aviation of Ping An Leasing

Societe Generale and Ping An Leasing are proud to have teamed their expertise to help implement this operation, reaffirming their support for sustainable development of territories and economies.

Whenever possible, we try to use delivery flights of new aircraft to our customers to ship medical or humanitarian donations to countries or regions in need,

Fabrice Brégier
President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and member of the Airbus Foundation’s Board of Directors.