IAI is setting up a passenger-to-freighter conversion facility in Ethiopian Airlines’ maintenance facility to meet rising demand.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Aviation Group has signed an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to establish a conversion site for Boeing 767-300 passenger aircraft. The new site will be the largest and most advanced in Africa, it said.
The new passenger-to-freighter conversion centre, which will operate from the Ethiopian Airlines’ maintenance centre in Addis Ababa, will help meet the rising demand for this type of cargo aircraft in the region.
The conversion line in Ethiopia will join existing conversion sites IAI operates at its campus in Ben Gurion International Airport and in Mexico.
Ethiopian Airlines’ MRO Center is approved by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The conversion site will provide solutions in the field of converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration, aircraft maintenance and overhaul, staff training and guidance, as well as assistance in acquiring certification and licenses.
IAI’s Executive VP and General Manager of Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed said: “We are witnessing a sharp rise in the demand for cargo aircraft as a result of the rise in e-commerce, which has peaked to record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“IAI has an excellent reputation as a conversion centre of passenger-to-freighters aircraft, and we are constantly receiving requests to open such conversion centres in more and more locations around the world. I am excited by the opening of the current centre in Ethiopia, and thank my colleagues in Ethiopian Airlines for the trust they have put in IAI’s Aviation Group.”
Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “In line with our Diversified Aviation Business Model of Vision 2025, we have been increasing our cargo capacity in fleet, ground service infrastructure and cargo connectivity network.
“Accordingly, we are partnering with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the aerospace industry. The cargo conversion centre will commence its first business with three Ethiopian Airlines owned B-767-300 aircraft. The cargo conversion centre in ADD HUB airport will expand its services to all airlines in Africa and the wider region.
“We are very happy that we are able to collaborate with IAI to enable us to expand our cargo and logistics services, which is already the largest and leading cargo network in Africa. The capacity building will also help us expand our MRO services with cutting edge technology and knowledge transfer.”