August 20, 2021: Ethiopian Airlines Group establishes a global standard cargo conversion programme to convert the B767-300 ER to dedicated freighter services in partnership agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Ethiopian Airlines Group chief executive officer, 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. 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.”

The cargo conversion center will commence its first business with three Ethiopian Airlines owned B767-300 aircraft. The center in Addis Ababa airport will expand its services to all airlines in Africa and the wider region.

Yossi Melamed, IAI's executive VP and general manager of Aviation Group, said, “We are witnessing a sharp rise in the demand for cargo aircraft as a result of the rise in ecommerce, 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."

The new passenger-to-freighter conversion centre, which will operate from the Ethiopian MRO centre in Addis Ababa, will provide solutions for the rising demand for cargo aircraft of B767 models. The conversion line in Ethiopia will join existing conversion sites IAI operates at its campus in Ben Gurion International Airport and in Mexico.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopian MRO, with its internal capacity, temporarily converted 25 of its passenger aircraft to freighter to boost its cargo capacity as demand to transport emergency medical supplies soared.

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