Ethiopian Airlines will establish third-party component maintenance capabilities under an aftermarket support agreement with Collins Aerospace.
The airline's chief executive, Tewolde Gebremariam, signed a 25-year partnership agreement with Collins Aerospace at the Paris air show yesterday covering maintenance of the US manufacturer's air management systems, heat exchangers and fuel metering units on De Havilland Canada Q400 turboprops.
Ethiopian's technical division will repair the components for its Q400 fleet and support the equipment for other African operators of the type on Collins Aerospace's behalf, the manufacturer's aftermarket services president Ajay Agrawal told FlightGlobal.
The deal has been valued at $500 million.
Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows that Ethiopian has 18 Q400s in service, and orders for another 10. The type is also operated by subsidiary operations of Ethiopian.
Agrawal describes the contract as a win-win situation, as the manufacturer currently has no African MRO facility among its international aftermarket network of 78 service facilities and 35 distributions.
"Africa is an important market," Collins says – noting the continent has a very large and young population, relative to other regions.
Agrawal says that while the company's aim is to ensure close proximity to customers with its aftermarket support activities, this does not mean that repair shops have to be operated by Collins.