Ethiopian Airlines Group announced that it has partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to establish a world-class hub in the African country, which will convert Boeing 767-300ER airliners into cargo planes (designated 767 P2F). The air group can already undertake maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities of aircraft in the country.
“In line with our diversified aviation business model of Vision 2025, we have increased our cargo capacity in the fleet, ground service infrastructure and cargo connectivity network,” explained the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group. Tewolde GebreMariam. “As a result, we are partnering with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the aerospace industry, to build a freight conversion center at our MRO facilities at Addis Ababa airport. “
The airline’s MRO facilities have already made temporary conversions of 25 of Ethiopia’s own airliners, to provide a short-term increase in its air cargo capacity. This was to meet the growing demand for transporting emergency medical supplies resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are seeing a sharp increase in the demand for cargo planes due to the increase in e-commerce, which reached record levels during the Covid-19 pandemic”, underlined the executive vice president of IAI and Chief Executive Officer of Aviation Group. Yossi Melamed. “IAI has an excellent reputation as a conversion center from passenger to cargo aircraft, and we are constantly receiving requests to open such conversion centers in more and more locations around the world. “
This will be the third such conversion center established by the IAI, the first being in Israel itself and the second in Mexico. The new center will start working by converting three of the Ethiopian 767-300. But he will expand his work to cover the whole of Africa and the region at large.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with IAI to allow us to expand our freight and logistics services, which is [sic] already the largest and most important freight network in Africa, ”said GebreMariam. “Capacity building will also help us expand our MRO services with advanced technology and knowledge transfer. “