For the Ethiopian Airlines a dream has come true. The airline is the first in the world outside Japan to operate the highly coveted first Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Kilimanjaro International Airport became the aircraft's first African destination.
The Dreamliner dubbed 'Africa's First,' taxied at KIA runaway last Monday, afternoon, amid cheers from spectators who gathered at the nations second largest terminal to welcome travelers aboard the Ethiopian Airline's Boeing 787-8 with a passenger capacity of 270.
Speaking during the occasion, Ms Nadia Ahmed Ethiopian Airlines representative said the choice of Kilimanjaro to be the 'Dreamliner's first destination only goes to reinforce the company's commitment in connecting Tanzania's Northern Zone Circuit to the world.
The operations' Manager, for Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO) Mr Christopher Mukoma said it was great honor for KIA to be the first African Destination to handle the continent's only Dreamliner and reinstated the his firm's stand to be the hub of tourism in the East African Region.
Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr Tewolde Gebremariam in a statement which was made available here said the first Ethiopian Dreamliner arrived on the continent last Friday, 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 on Saturday; August 18 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 Dreamliner, which so far is operated only by two Japanese airlines, is Chicago-based Boeing's most advanced plane. It is made out of lighter, composite material, 50 percent 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 color is another feature designed to fight flight fatigue.
Ethiopian airline is the second largest in Africa after South African Airways.
After last Sunday's launch in Kilimanjaro, the first Ethiopian Dreamliner will be operating on rotation basis to African destinations such as Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Harare, Lusaka, Nairobi, Entebbe, Lagos, Johannesburg, Abuja, Malabo, Douala, Lomé, 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 with recent ones being Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways and according to tourism Minister Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, other airlines, including the Emirates are also about to introduce flights there.