ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Airlines Group on Thursday announced it has established a global standard cargo conversion program to convert the B-767-300 ER to dedicated freighter services.
The airlines established the B767 passenger to freighter conversion site in its Addis Ababa HUB MRO center in partnership agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The latest move is part of the airlines’ Diversified Aviation Business Model of Vision 2025, which aims to increase its 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,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group.
The Cargo conversion center will commence its first business with three Ethiopian Airlines owned B-767-300 aircraft.
And then will then expand its services to all airlines in Africa and the wider region, according to Tewolde.
“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 CEO said.
“The capacity building will also help us expand our MRO services with cutting edge technology and knowledge transfer,” he added.
The global aviation industry is 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.
“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,” said Yossi Melamed, IAI’s Executive VP and General Manager of Aviation Group.
The conversion line in Addis Ababa will join existing conversion sites IAI operates at its campus in Ben Gurion International Airport and in Mexico.
The newly established centre “will provide solutions for the rising demand for cargo aircraft of B767 models,” said IAI’s Executive VP.
Recently, Ethiopian MRO, with its internal capacity, temporarily converted 25 of its passenger aircraft to freighters to boost its cargo capacity as demand to transport emergency medical supplies soared.