IAI To Add African PTF 767-300 Conversion Site

The aircraft conversion site in Ethiopia will be IAI's first in Africa.
Credit: Ethiopian Airlines

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has confirmed plans to establish a passenger-to-freighter (PTF) conversion site in Ethiopia for Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

The conversion center will be established at and operate from the maintenance facility of Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa.

It will initially begin operating with three Ethiopian Airlines-owned 767-300 aircraft. Eventually, the conversion center at Addis Ababa airport will expand its services to other airlines in Africa and the wider region, says Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO.

The airline has a large MRO presence in its country’s capital, where in addition to the PTF capability, it offers aircraft maintenance and overhaul, staff training and guidance, as well as assistance in acquiring certification and licenses.

“We are witnessing a sharp rise in the demand for cargo aircraft because of the rise in e-commerce, which has peaked to record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says IAI's executive VP and general manager of Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed.

“IAI has an excellent reputation as a conversion center of passenger-to-freighters aircraft, and we are constantly receiving requests to open such conversion centers in more and more locations around the world,” he adds.

The move into Africa further expands IAI’s global footprint. In addition to its home base in Tel Aviv, Israel, it also operates a PTF conversion center in Mexico City. It also signed a memorandum of understanding in March with Lithuania’s Aviatic to establish a new aircraft maintenance center in Siauliai from 2022. The site will cater for PTF conversions of 737NG aircraft.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.