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  • Joe Breitfeller

Ethiopian Airlines Establishes Boeing 767-300ER Freighter Conversion Center in Addis Ababa

In partnership with Israel Aerospace Corporation, the Ethiopian Airlines Group has established a program to convert Boeing 767-300ER passenger aircraft into dedicated freighters at their Addis Ababa hub.

Left to Right: IAI's Aviation Group's EVP and General Manager Yossi Melamed and Ethiopian Airlines Group's CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam - Courtesy Ethiopian Airlines

On Thursday (August 19, 2021), Ethiopian Airlines announced the establishment of a Boeing 767-300ER passenger-to-freight (P2F) conversion program at their Addis Ababa hub in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The new P2F conversion center will provide solutions for the increasing cargo demand for Boeing 767s. The Addis Ababa conversion line will join IAI’s existing conversion facilities at their Ben Gurion International Airport campus in Tel Aviv and in Mexico. Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Ethiopian Airlines has temporarily converted 25 passenger aircraft into dedicated freighters to boost capacity for critical emergency medical supplies.

In Thursday’s announcement, Ethiopian Airlines Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. 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, in building a cargo conversion center in our MRO facilities in Addis Ababa Airport. The Cargo conversion center will commence its first business with three Ethiopian Airlines owned B-767-300 aircraft. The Cargo Conversion Center in Addis Ababa 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.”

Also commenting on the new partnership, Israel Aerospace Industries Aviation Group’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, 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.”

Celebrating their 75th year of operations, Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest growing airline in Africa. The carrier commands the largest share of Pan-African passenger and cargo service and operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world. Ethiopian serves over 130 destinations across five continents with a fleet of ultra-modern fuel efficient aircraft including Airbus A350s, Boeing 787-8/9 Dreamliners, Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 777-200LRs, Boeing 777-200 Freighters and De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s. The airline’s fleet has an average age of five years and Ethiopian was the first African carrier to operate the previously mentioned aircraft types.

Ethiopian Airlines is implementing a strategic plan called ‘Vision 2025’ which envisions the carrier becoming the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business units including Ethiopian International Services, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, Ethiopian MRO Services, Ethiopian Aviation Academy, Ethiopian ADD Hub Ground Services, Ethiopian Airports Services and Ethiopian Express Services (Domestic). The award-winning airline has reported an average annual growth of around 25 percent over the past seven years.

Source: Ethiopian Airlines