August 26, 2021: Etihad Engineering, the largest commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East, has signed a strategic partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), to provide passenger to freighter (P2F) conversions on B777-300ERs.

This move from IAI follows after Ethiopian Airlines Group established a global standard cargo conversion programme to convert the B767-300 ER to freighter services with the company, last week.

Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “The Boeing 777-300ERSF is not only extremely attractive to customers but a technological breakthrough, given that it’s the first in its size category to offer extensive cargo solutions. Not only do we see the demand, but we view it as a greener, more profitable, highly innovative solution for our airline customers, and an excellent way to drive value for our business.”

In the initial stage of the partnership, Etihad Engineering will facilitate towards two conversion lines accommodating multiple aircraft conversions per year.

Boaz Levy, president and CEO, Israel Aerospace Industries, said, “The Abraham Accords have given IAI the opportunity to expand its global activity to the Gulf region. IAI is active in over 100 countries across the world. Establishing the conversion site in partnership with Etihad Engineering is a testament to IAI’s strong ties with the UAE and strengthens its foothold in the region. I am confident that this agreement will lead to many more partnerships with local companies in the Gulf States, which will grow our business in the region.”

In 2019, IAI and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced the launch of the B777-300ERSF, a programme which established a P2F conversion dubbed ‘The Big Twin’ denoting its status as the largest ever twin-engine freighter.

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