Ethiopian Presses Ahead With Boeing Parts Manufacturing Plan
Ethiopian Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to build a new hangar in Addis Ababa for aircraft parts manufacturing, building on an earlier deal to make insulation blankets for Boeing 737s.
On Aug. 18, Ethiopian signed an MOU for the new hangar, which will be located near Killinto Industrial Park. Its partners at the signing were the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and the Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC).
EIC said the facility will be used to manufacture aerospace parts, including aircraft thermo-acoustic insulation blankets, electrical wire harnesses, and other parts.
Ethiopian Airlines is investing $15 million in the project's "first phase," it said in a LinkedIn post.
"As the airline’s supply of aircraft parts to Boeing will continue to upsurge, the new facility will enable the airline to cater for the growing demand thereby creating additional employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings," the airline added.
The move bolsters Ethiopian Airlines' supplier ties with Boeing and expands on a broader effort to increase Addis Ababa's aerospace industry footprint.
Last year, the airline and Geven-SkyTecno opened a facility to make insulation blankets for 737s.
In August 2021, Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing signed an MOU aimed at boosting aviation skills in Addis Ababa. The strategic partnership included plans to develop Ethiopia’s manufacturing and aftermarket capabilities.
Since 2009, Ethiopian Airlines has been working to increase its manufacturing capabilities as part of a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025. The airline is looking to position Addis Ababa as the African continent’s aviation hub, with seven business units spanning domestic and international passenger operations, cargo, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), training, ground handling and airport services.
Ethiopian operates a range of Boeing aircraft types, including 737s, 767s, 777s and 787s. Ethiopian MRO Services holds both U.S. FAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approvals.
This story has been updated with additional information on the hangar project.