Ethiopian Airlines becomes first African carrier to convert passenger aircraft to cargo

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The Ethiopian Airlines Group announces the completion of passenger to freighter conversion of one of its three B767 aircraft. This comes in light of the group’s partnership with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which led to the launch of the B767-300ER freighter conversion line at Ethiopian MRO facilities in Addis Ababa.
The airline brought these aircraft models in 2004 and the conversion is aimed at replacing these ageing airplanes with ultramodern and technologically-advanced passenger aircraft to provide utmost comfort and convenience for passengers. The conversion of the aircraft into freighters also boosts the airline’s cargo shipment capacity enhancing its service.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Israel Aerospace Industries and become the first African carrier to successfully complete the passenger- to -cargo conversion of B767 aircraft. As a fast growing airline, our partnership with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the Aerospace industry, is crucial in technology and skill transfer in the field of maintenance, repair and overhaul. Ethiopian Airlines is committed to get closer to its customers with high quality cargo services. In addition to our latest freighter fleets, the converted B767 aircraft will augment our growing local and international cargo destinations with more load capacities. We have been working to expand our cargo operation as demand is expected to grow with the establishment of an e-commerce hub in Addis Ababa,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew.

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

In partnership with the Israel Aerospace Industries, Ethiopian started the full conversion of its B767 passenger aircraft at the continent’s largest maintenance, overhaul and repair center in Addis Ababa in early this year. The airline has completed the conversion of one of its three B767 aircraft while the conversion of the second aircraft has reached an essential stage of door cutting and will be completed in few months.
Ethiopian Airlines has been hailed for its key role in the global distribution of medical supplies and vaccines. Its cargo wing has served as a lifeline for the airline during the difficult times of the pandemic. Ethiopian had temporarily converted around 25 of its wide-body passenger aircraft into freighters using its in-house MRO capability which boosted its cargo operations and enabled it to transport around 1billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine around the globe.
Ethiopian has been expanding its cargo operation in all corners of the globe introducing latest technology freighter fleet. Currently, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services covers more than 130 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and 67 dedicated Freighter services.
Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, one of the major strategic business units within Ethiopian Airlines Group, has won Best Cargo Airline-Africa and Cargo Airline of the Year at the Air Cargo News Awards 2022.
In a related development Ethiopian Airlines and the French Embassy celebrated the 125th

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Anniversary of the start of bilateral relations between Ethiopia and France at Ethiopian Skylight Hotel on 13 October 2022 through a business gathering which brought together executives of Ethiopian Airlines and French companies engaged in the aviation sector.
French aviation and technology companies including Airbus, SAFRAN, and Thales made presentations on their products and services to executives of Ethiopian Airlines.
French Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Remi Marechaux and Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew, hailed Ethio-French relations as historic.
Ethiopian Airlines has been working with several French aviation companies including Airbus, SAFRA and Thales.
Ethiopian Airlines began operating the first French made Aircraft ATR 42 in 1990. Ethiopian which has been operating mainly Boeing aircraft for decades acquired the Airbus A350-900 in June 2016, the first African carrier to own and operate the type. The national airline is currently operating 18 A350-900 jetliners and has six more on order (four of them are A350-1000).