Sanad, Ethiopian Partner For African MRO Center
Middle Eastern engine MRO Sanad Aerotech has moved forward with its African expansion plans by signing a cooperation with Ethiopian Airlines to jointly build an MRO center of excellence on the continent.
Under the terms of the agreement, announced at MRO Africa on Wednesday (Feb. 5), the parties will operate a repair shop in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa for auxiliary power units (APU) on Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft.
Eventually, the plan is to roll out APU repair services to other carriers in Africa. Longer-term, the partnership also hopes to add further capabilities include airframe parts repairs and engine overhaul services.
The MRO center announcement follows up on a memorandum of understanding penned between Sanad and Ethiopian two years ago aimed at collaborating on APU capabilities.
Mansoor Janahi, CEO of Sanad Aerotech, says the announcement is a continuation of Sanad expanding its global presence in the form of strategic alliances. He adds: “Our strategic alliance with Ethiopian Airlines goes beyond this announcement, as it provides greater opportunities for us to jointly collaborate and develop mutually beneficial activities across the entire African continent.”
The MRO has ties with some of the industry’s biggest engine manufacturers including Rolls-Royce, General Electric and International Aero Engines. In an interview with Aviation Week late last year, Sanad Aerotech’s Janahi says it would look to continue down a similar partnership route.
Just under one year ago, Sanad Aerotech rebranded from its former Turbine Services & Solutions name in a move designed to consolidate its production, finance and energy divisions. Shortly after in summer 2019, it joined the Rolls-Royce aftermarket network as a designated authorized maintenance center.
Last year also saw an upscaling of its engine MRO work in Abu Dhabi, with contracts signed with GE Aviation for overhauls on 315 GEnx engines until 2035 and quick turn services on 237 CFM Leap engines up to 2030 in Abu Dhabi.
To support the ramp up, it plans to add around 200 employees across its aerospace business and grow staff between 550 to 600 employees over the next two years.
Ethiopian, meanwhile, has been expanding its own in-house and third-party MRO capabilities in the past two years and has stated its intent to be the leader in African MRO by 2025.
These efforts include adding another hangar in Addias Ababa in 2017 followed by GEnx repair capability being added the following year.