Ethiopian Airlines will start aerospace manufacture in Ethiopia and supply aircraft parts to Boeing, Airbus and other aerospace companies, the airline said in statement on Monday.
To that effect, Ethiopian Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Aerosud Group, a prominent South African aerospace manufacturing company aimed “at establishing a joint venture aerospace manufacturing company which will be based be based in Ethiopia,” according to a statement.
Teweolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian, and Johan Steyn, Managing Director of Aerosud Group signed the memorandum last Thursday at Ethiopian Airlines’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The joint venture with Aerosud Group will contribute to the Ethiopian government’s five years’ Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII) by establishing and developing a labor-intensive aerospace manufacturing industry, Tewolde said after signing the MoU. It would, he said, create a significant amount of job opportunities.
The manufacturing facilities, that will be set up in due course are expected to be located in the vicinity of Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport, simplifying imports and exports.
Steyn said: “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 manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus and help Ethiopia in the development of the aerospace manufacturing industry in the country.”
Ethiopia has for some time researched the potential for manufacturing in partnership with companies such as Boeing and Bombardier.
Formed in 1990, Aerosud manufactures aviation-specific parts covering everything from structural fabrications, composites, thermoplastics and airline interior systems to cockpit linings, cargo linings, wing tips and galleys – 98% of which are exported. The company has an annual turnover of more than R1-billion.
Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest growing airline in Africa and hopes to prosper even more through the upcoming venture. It is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 aimed at making it the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centres.