Ethiopian Airlines MRO, UTD Aviation Solutions and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services in pursuance of The Brown Condor Initiative (BCI).

The signing ceremony took place at Ethiopian Airlines headquarters in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

The Brown Condor Initiative (BCI) is a joint initiative that was conceptualised in 2020 and officially launched by UTD Aviation Solutions and AFRAA in May 2021. The BCI project is aimed at providing a platform for AFRAA members with Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities to relieve the USA MRO workforce crunch in terms of both facilities and manpower constraints, as well as support other airlines from the USA in MRO services and aircraft spares.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Abdérahmane Berthé, AFRAA secretary general remarked, "This signing ceremony with Ethiopian Airlines is a significant milestone in the Brown Condor project. We express our appreciation to Ethiopian Airlines as the first African airline to sign the MoU that will operationalise the objectives of this robust project."

"For two years, as part of the industry recovery measures at AFRAA, we have been working with partners to bring solutions to our members to reduce costs or increase revenues. We look forward to onboard other AFRAA airlines with EASA or FAA Certified MRO capabilities for this project. Our joint efforts reflect a paradigm shift in the MRO industry." Berthé added.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tassew, commented that as the largest MRO service provider in Africa, Ethiopian MRO Services is continuously increasing its capacity and expanding 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."

He said the pandemic had exposed the delicate nature of the aviation pipeline. "OEMs and MROs have a consistent demand for airframe checks and engine shop visits, and relatively predictable demand for new repaired and used spares. Without a major Paradigm Shift, we will never find a solution. The African Aviation Renaissance is the Paradigm Shift needed for the solution to this crisis."

"This tripartite agreement will correct the trajectory of the aviation comeback." said Dahir Mohammed, President and CEO of UTD Aviation Solutions.

The MoU will forge collaboration between AFRAA member Airlines' associated MROs with US Airlines, MROs, OEMs, Distributors and other US civil aviation organisations companies. The management of the airline's MRO excess spare parts inventory both locally and from the USA shall be coordinated through a virtual consignments platform.

About The Brown Condor Initiative

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. Colonel John C. 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 this unique joint initiative, UTD Aviation and AFRAA seek to re-establish the African aviation renaissance in MRO services and aircraft spares.

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