Ethiopian Airlines Completes First Boeing 767 Freighter Conversion in Africa

LONDON – Ethiopian Airlines has completed the first-ever conversion of a Boeing 767 Freighter in Africa, marking a milestone in the region’s cargo operations.

This aircraft is the first of three that is being completed by Israel Aerospace Industries in Addis Ababa following the launch of the 767-300ER Freighter conversion line.

The airline introduced these aircraft models in 2004. The conversion is aimed at replacing these aging airplanes with ultramodern and technologically-advanced passenger aircraft to provide the utmost comfort and convenience for passengers.

The conversion of the aircraft into a freighter also boosts the airline’s cargo shipment capacity and enhances its service.

Tasew Thrilled To Collaborate…

Commenting on the conversion was Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew:

“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 fleets, the converted B767 aircraft will augment our growing local and international cargo destinations with more load capacities.”

“We have been working on expanding our cargo operation as demand is expected to grow with the establishment of an e-commerce hub in Addis Ababa. “

The Conversion Line…

In partnership with the 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 in 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 operation in all corners of the globe introducing the latest technology freighter fleet.

Currently, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services cover more than 130 international destinations around the world with both belly hold capacity and 67 dedicated Freighter services.

IAI’s Expansion Going Strong…

From this, it remains clear that IAI’s expansion into the P2F market is going strong, especially with its Boeing 777-300ER Freighter program too.

Back in May, the company announced a deal with Cargojet Canada to convert four passenger Boeing 777-300ERs into a cargo configuration.

By July, in its other programs, they received the fruitful news of being rewarded by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) with the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for its B737-800SF passenger-to-freighter conversions (P2F).

With IAI gaining STC approval from EASA, this will inevitably open sales opportunities for its B737BDSF cargo conversion to all European AOC (Air Operators Certificate) or airlines/operators.


It remains clear that this is a major milestone for Ethiopian Airlines, as well as for IAI, who have been able to achieve the first freighter conversion in Africa.

As Ethiopian bolsters up its cargo offerings, we will continue to see more of these conversions take place, especially with IAI’s extended presence in Africa too.

A theme is evolving: Older passenger aircraft are getting converted into freighters, which means better longevity moving forward.

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