Africa’s First Passenger-to-Freighter Conversion
Airlines Industry

Africa’s First Passenger-to-Freighter Conversion

DALLAS – Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has completed the first passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion of one of its Boeing 767-300ERs.

The conversion, the first P2F in Africa, was carried out at the airline’s maintenance facility at Addis Ababa (ADD) in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

ET introduced the 767-300ER in 2004 and operated 15 of the type in total. Most have now been replaced by the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Three remain, all of which will eventually be converted, boosting the airline’s cargo capacity.

Conversion of the second airframe is now well underway. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.

Airline Statement

ET Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Israel Aerospace Industries and become the first African carrier to successfully complete the passenger-to-cargo conversion of B767 aircraft.

“As a fast-growing airline, our partnership with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the Aerospace industry, is crucial in technology and skill transfer in the field of maintenance, repair and overhaul.

“Ethiopian Airlines is committed to getting closer to its customers with high-quality cargo services. In addition to our latest freighter fleets, the converted B767 aircraft will augment our growing local and international cargo destinations with more load capacities.

“We have been working to expand our cargo operation as demand is expected to grow with the establishment of e-commerce hub in Addis Ababa.”

The 767-300 P2Fs will join Ethiopian Cargo’s fleet of nine Boeing 777Fs and four 737-800BCFs. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.

Cargo Growth

Conversion of the second airframe is now well underway, with the door-cutting process already started. ET and IAI hope to have the P2F process completed in a few months.

The airline has been steadily expanding its cargo operations. During the pandemic, ET converted 25 of its wide-body passenger airliners into freighters, boosting its cargo operations and enabling it to transport around one billion doses of Covid–19 vaccine around the globe.

Today, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services operate to over 130 international destinations worldwide with both belly hold capacity in its passenger airliners and 67 dedicated Freighters.

Featured Image: The conversion line at ADD joins IAI’s facilities in Tel Aviv and Mexico. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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