The Joint Venture Aerospace Company will manufacture and supply various aircraft parts to Boeing, Airbus and other aerospace companies. The manufacturing facilities are expected to be set up in the vicinity of Bole International Airport for purposes of economy of scale and ease of import/export transportation.

At the signing ceremony, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Tewolde Gebre-Mariam, said to the press that pursuant to the Ethiopian government’s industrialisation policy, which is embedded in the country’s five-year Growth and Transformation Plan, Ethiopian Airlines reached this agreement with the Aerosud Group to establish and develop a labour-intensive aerospace manufacturing industry. “It is my sincere belief that the establishment of these facilities will surely create significant job opportunities for the young, educated workforce and be another face of the industrial park development task that is being carried out in the country,” Tewolde said.

In turn, Johan Steyn, managing director of the Aerosud Group, commented: “We are happy to establish this joint venture with Ethiopian Airlines and we would like to share Aerosud’s many years of experience working with major aircraft manufactures such as Boeing and Airbus and help Ethiopia in the development of the aerospace manufacturing industry in that country.”

Read: Ethiopian Airlines to welcome Africa’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in October

Ethiopian Airlines is implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025, which will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa. Already the airline commands the bulk of the pan-African passenger and cargo network, operating the youngest and most modern fleet to 93 international destinations across five continents.

Getting an aerospace manufacturing industry off the ground

In preparation, the management of Ethiopian Airlines is holding talks with officials of the Science and Technology Faculty at Addis Ababa University on the possibility of the university opening an Aeronautical Engineering department that would train young Ethiopians to serve the planned aerospace manufacturing industry.

Ethiopian Airlines also disclosed that in a feasibility study to determine potential areas of manufacturing, it has held rigorous discussions with aircraft manufacturing companies such as Boeing, Bombardier and other aerospace manufacturing companies.