August 22, 2012
Ethiopian Airlines is set to begin construction of two additional hangars at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport as part of its effort to double capacity for heavy aircraft maintenance.
The new facilities, which are expected to be completed in two years, will be able to accommodate one Boeing 747-8 each, two Boeing 767s or four Boeing 737s, Ethiopian’s Senior Vice President MRO Zemene Nega tells Aviation Week. The plans are part of Ethiopian’s Vision 2025 that aims to triple total revenues to around $10 billion in the next 13 years, of which some $500 million is expected to be generated from the airline’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations. Ethiopian has provided MRO services to other operators since the 1960s, but recently scaled back its third party work to accommodate its own fleet.
With the new capacity, Ethiopian expects to increase MRO services to other carriers.
But the current focus remains on Ethiopian’s own fleet, and the airline is preparing for the first C-checks on its Boeing 777 fleet. Ethiopian also is readying to perform A-checks on its new Boeing 787s, the first of which was delivered last week, and has built a new shop for composite component repair work.
That facility should be operational by the end of the year, when Ethiopian expects to have a fleet of five 787s.
Ethiopian also is expanding capabilities on the 737, and is hoping to add European Aviation Safety Agency approvals to its Ethiopian and FAA certifications to gain access to the European narrowbody MRO market.
The airline also is adding capacity for engine and component maintenance.