Ethiopian Agree to jointly Work in MRO Services & Aircraft spares

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Airlines, UTD Aviation Solutions and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have signed a tripartite agreement to work together on Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services in pursuance to the Brown Condor Initiative (BCI).

The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place at Ethiopian Airlines headquarters in Addis Ababa on Thursday.

The Brown Condor Initiative is a joint initiative which was conceptualized in 2020 and officially launched by UTD Aviation Solutions and AFRAA in May 2021.

The initiative is aimed at providing a platform for AFRAA members with MRO facilities to relieve USA MRO workforce crunch in terms of both facilities and manpower constraints, as well as support other airlines from USA in the MRO services and aircraft spares.

‘Paradigm Shift’

AFRAA Secretary General Abdérahmane Berthé has called the agreement with Ethiopian Airlines “a significant milestone” in the Brown Condor project.

“We express our appreciation to Ethiopian Airlines as the first African airline to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will operationalize the objectives of this robust Project,” Berthé said.

As part of the industry recovery measures in the past two years, the Association has been working with its partners to bring solutions to member airlines to reduce costs or increase revenues.

“We look forward to onboard other AFRAA airlines with EASA or FAA Certified MRO capabilities onto this project,” he said. ““Our joint efforts reflect a paradigm shift in the MRO industry.”

Ethiopian MRO Services is the largest MRO service provider in Africa, and is currently working to increase its capacity and expand its reach to customers in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

“We are pleased to sign this MoU with UTD and AFRAA as it is in line with our plan to increase our market reach and build our presence in North America and tap into the big potential market in the region,” said Mesfin Tassew, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group.

The MoU will forge collaboration between AFRAA member Airlines’ associated MROs with US Airlines, MROs, OEMS, Distributors and other US civil aviation organizations companies.

The management of the Airline’s MRO excess of spare parts inventory both locally and from the USA shall be coordinated through a virtual consignments platform.

President and CEO of UTD Aviation Solutions, Dahir Mohammed said the pandemic has exposed how “delicate the aviation pipeline truly is”.

“OEMs and MRO’s have consistent demand for airframe checks and engine shop visits, and a relatively predictable demand for new, repaired and used spares,” Mohammed said.

Without a major Paradigm Shift, he said the sector “will never find a solution”.

“The African Aviation Renaissance is the Paradigm Shift needed for the solution to this Crisis,” he said. “This Tripartite Agreement will correct the trajectory of the Aviation comeback.”

Named after Renown Aviator

The Brown Condor Initiative is code named after Colonel John C. Robinson the first African American aviator who also participated in the Ethiopian victorious war against Italy.

Col.Robinson was enlisted by the then Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as a fighter pilot. He immediately began training young Ethiopians in the technical complexities of aviation, especially pilots in preparation for war.

For his daring service amid Ethiopian skies, Robinson earned international renown as the “Brown Condor of Ethiopia.”

Through the latest joint initiative, UTD Aviation and AFRAA seek to re-establish African aviation renaissance in MRO services and aircraft spares, according to the Ethiopian.