Chinese firm to undertake Ethiopian hangar expansion


Chinese firm Avec (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) is expected to begin constructing the expansion work on the maintenance hangar at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at a cost of around USD 95 million.
The design has been finished and it is currently in the soil testing stage.
According to Tewolde Gebremariam CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, once construction is completed maintenance is expected to be done on the Dreamliner airplanes, (up to now the most modern airplane), 777 airplanes, 747 airplanes and other types of airplanes; making it a multipurpose hanger.
The current maintenance hangar is equipped with state of the art technology. It has a span of 7,200sqm and a height of 25 meters. It can accommodate one B747-400 or two B737-700s or two equivalent size aircraft at any given time in different configurations. Ethiopian currently has an overarching advanced maintenance base that can efficiently perform complete airframe and maintenance packages for Boeing, Bombardier and Fokker, Aircraft. It can conduct component overhaul/testing (equipped with state-of-the-art Automatic Test Equipment – ATEC 5000). Ethiopian can also recondition, strip and paint airplanes.  
As part of Vision 2025 it further plans to operate more than 120 airplanes flying to 90 plus destinations internationally carrying over 18 million passengers and 710,000 tons of cargo per annum while employing more than 17,000 people. 
Ethiopian also disclosed recently that it made an unaudited profit of 732 million birr during the just ended Ethiopian fiscal year 2011/12.
In 2004 Ethiopian earned USD 390 million, and just eight years later that figure has skyrocketed to USD 2.5 billion.
The air operator had planned to be a USD 1 billion company by 2010 but exceeded that figure to reach USD 1.3 billion. Ethiopian nearing seven decades of existence, currently employs around 6,300 people.
It also has a 40 percent stake in ASKY a multinational private airline based in Lome, Togo. Its inauguration was marked to meet the growing demands for safe, reliable and competitive air transportation services in Central and West Africa with new-generation aircraft.
ASKY’s equity ownership also includes the private multinational ECOBANK and major development banks of the region, namely EBID, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Bank of Investment and Development and West African Development Bank.
Ethiopian is a major shareholder in ASKY and has a management contract to operate its services.
The air carrier currently commands a substantial share of the pan African network including the daily and double daily east-west flight across the continent. Ethiopian currently serves 69 international destinations operat¬ing with the newest and youngest fleet.
Before the end of 2012 two more routes are planned: Kuala Lampur, Malaysia and Sao Paulo, Brazil.  
The Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) section of the Ethiopian envisages that it will be the most competitive and leading provider of commercial aircraft (MRO) services in Africa by 2025. 
The air carrier as part of its grand 2025 vision is also conducting several expansion projects such as expanding the Ethiopian Aviation Academy, a simulator building, a hotel, expanding the cargo terminal, a catering facility and a brand new headquarters.