Ethiopian Airlines Group and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have partnered to launch a B767-300ER freighter conversion line in Ethiopia.


In a statement, it said the airline will be the first customer of the new line, which will be formed at the airline group's MRO facilities at Addis Ababa Airport.


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“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,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam.


“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.


GebreMariam noted that the Cargo Conversion Center in Addis Ababa airport will expand its services to all airlines in Africa and the wider region.


Sharp increase in cargo aircraft


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,” he said. “The capacity building will also help us expand our MRO services with cutting edge technology and knowledge transfer.”


Yossi Melamed, IAI’s executive vice president and general manager of Aviation Group, for his part said the team-up comes as the company witnesses a “sharp rise in demand for cargo aircraft” on the back of e-commerce expansion driven largely by the coronavirus pandemic.


The Ethiopian conversion line will be added to IAI's current conversion sites at its Ben Gurion International Airport facility and in Mexico.