Ethiopian targets Africa and Middle East for MRO business

Addis Ababa
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Ethiopian Airlines is seeking to become a major provider of third-party MRO services to carriers in the Middle East and Africa, says its head of maintenance.

“If you look at the African market, there are very limited MRO centres. Up in the north, you have EgyptAir, of course, but at the moment they are not handling third-party work – especially on the heavy maintenance side. They are doing well on the line maintenance, but they are not on the heavy maintenance,” Zemene Nega told Flightglobal in Addis Ababa on 27 February.

“The aviation market in Africa obviously will grow, with the growth of the economies of some countries and more oil and gas resources. We expect we will have better market share in these regions. In the Middle East there is a lot going on, but we need to compete there and get our share.”

The airline already counts Camair, RwandAir, TAM Mozambique Airlines and TAAG Angola Airlines among its MRO clients, and is currently constructing a third maintenance hangar at a cost of $100 million in order to increase handling capacity.

Nega says Ethiopian can already offer C- and D-checks on all Boeing fleet types, excluding the 747, to other carriers and will soon be able to diversify into Airbus maintenance with the arrival from 2016 of the airline’s first A350s.