Bombardier expands maintenance network in Africa

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Bombardier has signed a letter of intent with Ethiopian Airlines to make the airline's technical division an authorised service facility for Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprops.

The facility has completed the necessary audits and the agreement will become official by late August, says Bombardier.

The carrier will be authorised to provide line and heavy maintenance on Q400 and Q400 NextGen models at its base at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian operates a fleet of nine Q400 NextGen turboprops, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows.

Ethiopian's hangar will be the eighth facility authorised by the airframer for commercial aircraft maintenance.

Ethiopian Airlines will have the second Bombardier authorised service facility in Africa; the airframer appointed South African Express Airways as an authorised location in November. Johannesburg-based South African Express provides maintenance for Bombardier CRJ100/200/700 regional jets, the Dash-8-100/-200/-300 aircraft and Q-series turboprops.

The aircraft manufacturer also announced it has placed a new regional support office and parts facility in Johannesburg, South Africa. The 2,153ft2 (200m2) depot is being established in partnership with ExecuJet South Africa and will provide parts and maintenance support for all Bombardier business and commercial jets and turboprops. More than 240 of these jets are based in Africa. The Johannesburg depot will be Bombardier's 11th parts facility.