Aviation Group – IAI Signs Agreement with Etihad Engineering for Setting Up Passenger to Freight Conversion Centre in Abu Dhabi

By Arie Egozi

Civil Aviation

Tel Aviv. Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) is expanding its aircraft conversion operation. The Aviation Group of IAI has signed an agreement with Etihad Engineering to establish a passenger-to-freighter conversion site for Boeing 777-3000ER aircraft.

The new conversion centre, which will operate as the company’s maintenance centre in Abu Dhabi, will supply a solution for the global rise in demand for cargo jets of this model. The conversion centre in Abu Dhabi is an addition to other global cargo conversion sites that IAI operates, besides its existing conversion lines at the company’s campus at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Etihad Engineering is the largest commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East, and the centre in Abu Dhabi will be the largest and most advanced in the Middle East to be certified by the UAE Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Aviation Administration, USA and the European Aviation Safety Agency. At the conversion centre, passenger planes will be converted to cargo configuration, and maintenance, renovation and overhaul services will be supplied.

IAI’s President & CEO, Boaz Levy commented: “The Abraham Accords have given IAI the opportunity to expand its global activity to the Gulf region.  IAI is active in over 100 countries across the world. Establishing the conversion site in partnership with Etihad Engineering is a testament to IAI’s strong ties with the UAE and strengthens its foothold in the region. I am confident that this agreement will lead to many more partnerships with local companies in the Gulf States, which will grow our business in the region.”

Executive VP and General Manager of IAI’s Aviation Group Yossi Melamed said: “IAI’s Aviation Group, the world’s leading cargo conversion provider, has begun the structural modification of Boeing 777-300ERSF in cooperation with GECAS to provide a leading professional solution to the air cargo industry. Over many years, Etihad Engineering has received the highest professional regard from IAI’s Aviation Group. The Abraham Accords have enabled us to meet the company’s managers first hand, to see their ability and dedication, in addition to witnessing the company’s great capabilities in the field of jet maintenance.

Earlier this month as reported by Raksha Anirveda, IAI’s Aviation Group signed an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to establish a conversion site for Boeing 767-300 passenger aircraft. The new passenger-to-freighter conversion centre, which will operate from the company’s maintenance centre in Addis Ababa, will provide solutions for the rising demand for cargo aircraft of these models. The conversion line in Ethiopia will join existing conversion sites IAI operates at its campus in Ben Gurion International Airport and in Mexico.

Ethiopian Airlines’ MRO Center is well-known and highly experienced. It is approved by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The new site will be the largest and most advanced in Africa. The conversion site will provide solutions in the field of converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration, aircraft maintenance and overhaul, staff training and guidance, as well as assistance in acquiring certification and licenses. The establishment of the center is a testament to IAI’s growing impact around the world.