Ethiopian Airlines has disclosed that it generates around $80 million annually from its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
But the airline group is optimistic of expanding the revenue in the MRO segment by deepening its partnerships with African carriers and providing them cheap and affordable maintenance services.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mr. Mesfin Tasew, said the Ethiopian Airlines MRO is closer to African airlines than other MRO facilities in Europe or America.
This, he noted, had helped airlines to cut cost and conserve foreign exchange that would have been expended in taking their aircraft to Europe.
Tasew, who is in charge of maintenance, flight operations and coordination, in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, said Ethiopian MRO has grown its clientele with many customers from West, East and South African countries.
Tasew noted that Ethiopian Airlines was willing to partner any African country, adding that they were ready to establish MRO facilities in west, central and southern Africa.
“But to do that we need partners perhaps with the local knowledge who can work with us,” he said.
Daily Trust reports that absence of many maintenance facilities in Africa has brought about financial demurrage for airlines that had to ferry their aircraft abroad.
In Nigeria for instance, many airlines groan over heavy maintenance cost and most of the domestic carriers still have their aircraft stranded abroad owing to huge maintenance costs.
It was also however learnt that some Nigerian carriers are in talks with the Ethiopian MRO to establish a facility in Nigeria.