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Posted on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 15:00

Aviation: Ethiopian Airlines, SA firm in aerospace joint venture

By Tinishu Solomon

Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines group. Photo©Elias Asmare/AP/SIPAEthiopian Airlines has signed an agreement with a South African company that will see the two firms forming a joint venture that will spearhead a new aerospace manufacturing entity in Ethiopia.

The deal between one of Africa's largest airlines and Aerosud Holdings will see the establishment of a company that would manufacture aircraft parts for Airbus, Boeing and other aerospace companies.

the establishment of these facilities will surely create significant job opportunities for the young, educated workforce

According to the airline, the deal was signed last week when officials from the two companies met at Ethiopian Airline headquarters in Addis Abeba.

Ethiopian Airlines group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said the initiative, which will create significant job opportunities, was in line with Ethiopia's five years development plan - Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII).

"We have reached into an agreement with Aerosud Group to establish and develop a labour-intensive aerospace manufacturing industry," he said.

"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."

The manufacturing facilities are expected to be located near Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport "for good reasons of economy of scale and ease of import/export transportation," Ethiopian Airlines said.

The airline said it undertook a feasibility study to determine potential areas of manufacturing, which included "rigorous discussions" with aircraft manufacturing companies such as Boeing, Bombardier and others.

Johan Steyn, the Aerosud Group managing director said that his company was "happy to establish this joint venture with Ethiopian airlines".

"We would like to share Aerosud's long years of experience working with major aircraft manufactures such as Boeing and Airbus and help Ethiopian in the development of the aerospace manufacturing industry in the country," he said.



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