Freight IAI to establish conversion site in Ethiopia

Israel Aerospace Industries IAI has announced, that it will establish an aircraft conversion site in Ethiopia.

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Together with national flag-carrier airline Ethiopian Airlines, Israel Aerospace Industries has signed an agreement to establish a new passenger-to-freighter conversion facility at Addis Ababa. The site will be built for Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

The aircraft is more and more being phased out by airlines around the world and as its capacity is perfect for cargo operations, many freight airlines around the world are looking to use converted 767-300s for their services. To meet this rising demand in freight in general, the new facility will be established.

IAI will be using Ethiopian Airlines´ MRO facilities at Addis Ababa, which is known for its high expertise. The facility is approved by the FAA, EASA and Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. According to IAI, the new site will be the largest and most advanced in Africa.

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 center of passenger-to-freighters aircraft, and we are constantly receiving requests to open such conversion centers in more and more locations around the world. I am excited by the opening of the current center in Ethiopia, and thank my colleagues in Ethiopian Airlines for the trust they have put in IAI’s Aviation Group, as the world’s leader in conversions."

Together with the MRO-part of the facility, the site will provide not only the passenger-to-freight conversions, but also aircraft maintenance and overhaul, staff training and guidance, as well as assistance in handling with licences and certifications.

Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “The cargo conversion center 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.”

GebreMariam also stated that the facility will commence with the conversion of three Ethiopian Airlines owned Boeing 767-300s. The airline is currently implementing its diversified aviation business model, as it puts more focus on its cargo division, ground service infrastructure and cargo connectivity network.

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