By Kaleyesus Bekele,

Ethiopian Airlines is finalizing the construction of light aircraft maintenance hangar that it is constructing at its main hub in Addis Ababa at a cost of seven million dollars.

According to information obtained from Ethiopian, construction of the light aircraft maintenance hangar commenced on August 2013 under ELMI Olindo Contractors PLC, an Italian construction firm. The project is fully financed by Ethiopian Airlines and an estimated total cost of 7 million USD has been incurred.

Lying on 6160 sq.m plot of land the light maintenance hangar is capable of accommodating B777-200 or more other type aircraft in different arrangements. In addition, it will have different facilities for the staff including store, tool room, locker room, office space, etc. Currently, it is more than 95 percent completed and is expected to be operational soon.

The new light aircraft maintenance will officially be inaugurated in March during African MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) conference, which is scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian is also building another maintenance hangar. Construction of the second (wide body) hangar has begun in June 2014 under construction of AVIC International. The project is financed by EXIM bank of China with equity of ET and an estimated total cost of USD 92 million.

The wide body maintenance hangar covers a total area of 15,500m2, comprising of two bays that can accommodate 2-B747-800 at a time or more other type aircraft in different arrangements. One part of this wide body maintenance hangar is a full Paint Hangar equipped with modern equipment. The project includes 100,000 sq.m of apron work and is expected to be completed by end of April, 2016.

Ethiopian MRO is currently established as one of the seven business units of Ethiopian, rendering third party maintenance service to African and Middle East airlines. Ethiopian says completion of these projects will enhance the maintenance capacity of the airline to cope up with the development in the industry and meet international functional requirements.

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year Ethiopian generated 483 million birr from third party business. In the Vision 2025 growth road map Ethiopian plans to boost the revenue of its MRO center to a staggering 520 million dollars.

In a related news African Aviation’s 24th Annual MRO Africa Conference and Exhibition, to be hosted by Ethiopian Airlines, will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from March 16-18, with the theme “Africa’s Growing MRO Market & Airline Technical Procurement”. The conference will be attended by African and international airlines and aircraft operators, regulatory officials, MRO organizations, aircraft and engine manufacturers, aircraft and engine leasing companies, aviation finance and insurance firms, MRO information technology software companies, and airline support services among others. The light aircraft maintenance hangar will be inaugurated during the conference and delegates will visit the new hangar, the wide body hangar under construction and other facilities in the Ethiopian MRO.

In another related development, Ethiopian will take delivery of its latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft tomorrow. According to Ethiopian, the new jetliner has full flat seat and unique entertainment system. The welcoming event will be graced by the state minister for Transport, Getachew Mengiste, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, and other high government officials as well as the Airline’s senior management team.

In 2012 Ethiopian leased additional three B787-8 aircraft from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), a US-based aircraft leasing company, with a long term leasing agreement. The second from the three leased Dreamliners will arrive in March and the third one in April this year.

Source: Ethiopian Reporter

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