Ethiopian Airlines is planning to establish an aerospace manufacturing industry that would design and manufacture different aircraft parts in Ethiopia.
A senior executive of Ethiopian told The Reporter that the airline is establishing a new division that would undertake aircraft parts designing and manufacturing work at its hub in Addis Ababa which in the long run would transform into an aerospace manufacturing industry hiring thousands of Ethiopians. The executive said Ethiopian aerospace manufacturing wing will supply its products to giant aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.
The management of Ethiopian is holding talks with officials of the Addis Ababa University Science and Technology Faculty on the possibility that the university could open Aeronautical Engineering department that would train young Ethiopians who could serve the planned aerospace manufacturing industry.
The Ethiopian Airlines Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center (MRO) is known for maintaining aircraft from different parts of Africa. Ethiopian established a wire kits harness manufacturing plant in 2009. The aircraft wire production plant manufactures certified seat aircraft interior wires of different types and supplies them to Boeing, which uses the wires for B737, 747, 767 and 777 jet aircraft.
To realize its vision of establishing an aerospace manufacturing industry Ethiopian Airlines this week inked a deal with the prominent South African aerospace manufacturing company, Aerosud Holdings. The Memorandum of understanding which was signed on July 15, 2016 at the headquarters of Ethiopian aims at establishing a joint venture aerospace manufacturing company that manufactures and supplies various parts to Boeing, Airbus and other aerospace companies. Aerosud supplies aircraft parts to Airbus commercial and military aircraft.
During the signing ceremony Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Tewolde Gebre-Mariam, said that pursuant to the Ethiopian government’s industrialization policy embedded in the five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII), Ethiopian reached into an agreement with Aerosud Group to establish and develop labor-intensive Aerospace manufacturing Industry. “It is my sincere belief that the establishment of these facilities will surely create significant job opportunities for the young, educated task-force and be another face of the industrial park development task that is being carried out in the country,” Tewolde said. The manufacturing facilities, that will be set up in due course, are expected to be located in the vicinity of Bole International airport for good reasons of economy of scale and ease of import/export transportations.
Johan Steyn, Managing director of Aerosud Group, commented ,” We are happy to establish this joint venture with Ethiopian Airlines and we would like to share Aerosud’s long years of experience working with major Aircraft Manufactures such as Boeing and Airbus and help Ethiopian in the development of the aerospace manufacturing industry in the Country”
Ethiopian disclosed that in a feasibility study to determine potential areas of manufacturing, it has held rigorous discussions with Aircraft manufacturing companies such as Boeing, Bombardier and other aerospace manufacturing companies.