ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Ethiopian Airlines has announced the completion of the passenger-to-freighter conversion of one of its three B767 aircraft. Ethiopian Airlines and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) collaborated to establish a B767-300ER freighter conversion line at Ethiopian MRO facilities in Addis Ababa.

The airline introduced these aircraft models in 2004. The conversion is aimed at replacing these ageing airplanes with ultramodern and technologically-advanced passenger aircraft to provide the utmost comfort and convenience for passengers. The conversion of the aircraft into freighter also boosts the airline’s cargo shipment capacity and enhances its service.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said, "We are thrilled to collaborate with Israel Aerospace Industries and become the first African carrier to successfully complete the passenger-to-cargo conversion of B767 aircraft. As a fast growing airline, our partnership with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the aerospace industry, is crucial in technology and skill transfer in the field of maintenance, repair, and overhaul. Ethiopian Airlines is committed to getting closer to its customers with high-quality cargo services. In addition to our latest freighter fleet, the converted B767 aircraft will augment our growing local and international cargo destinations with more load capacities. We have been working to expand our cargo operations as demand is expected to grow with the establishment of an e-commerce hub in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Airlines has been hailed for its key role in the global distribution of medical supplies and vaccines. Its cargo wing has served as a lifeline for the airline during the difficult times of the pandemic. Ethiopian had temporarily converted around 25 of its wide-body passenger aircraft into freighters using its in-house MRO capability, which boosted its cargo operations and enabled it to transport around 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine around the globe.

In partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries, Ethiopian started the full conversion of its B767 passenger aircraft at the continent’s largest maintenance, overhaul, and repair center in Addis Ababa early this year. The airline has completed the conversion of one of its three B767 aircraft, while the conversion of the second aircraft has reached an essential stage of door cutting and will be completed in a few months.

Ethiopian has been expanding its cargo operations in all corners of the globe, introducing the latest technology freighter fleet. Currently, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services covers more than 130 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and 67 dedicated freighter services.

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, one of the major strategic business units within Ethiopian Airlines Group, has won Best Cargo Airline-Africa and Cargo Airline of the Year at the Air Cargo News Awards 2022.