Ethiopian becomes authorised Bombardier MRO
BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE celebrated its growing support network in Africa today by welcoming one of the continent’s leading carriers, Ethiopian Airlines, as yet another Authorized Service Facility (ASF) for commercial aircraft on the continent. The airline can now perform line and heavy maintenance on Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft under the Bombardier ASF banner.
Ethiopian Airlines operates a fleet of modern aircraft, and performs complete aircraft, as well as engine and component overhaul and repair services from facilities at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The facility employs an all-Ethiopian workforce of over 750 licensed technicians and support staff.
“Ethiopian Airlines is one of Africa’s most respected airlines and a valued Bombardier customer. Their commitment to excellence both in operations and maintenance services will benefit our operator base in the region and beyond, as a part of our network,” said Éric Martel, President, Customer Services and Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft, Bombardier Aerospace. “Through sustained investment and focus, we continue to expand our support services in Africa and are looking forward to this new chapter of our relationship with Ethiopian.”
“Ethiopian Airlines’ NextGen turboprops are proving their high value by delivering excellent passenger experience, operational flexibility and economics - confirming that they are excellent aircraft for operations in Africa,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines. “As a newly appointed Authorized Service Facility for Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft, we welcome the opportunity to expand our relationship with Bombardier and to provide maintenance services to other carriers as an increasing number of these modern turboprops take to the skies in our geographically diverse continent.”
Established in 1945, award-winning Ethiopian Airlines is the flagship carrier of Ethiopia. In 2012, the airline received one of Bombardier’s top honours - an Airline Reliability Performance Award - for outstanding dispatch reliability on its Q400 aircraft fleet. Last September, the airline became the first to take delivery of the NextGen version of the Q400 turboprop airliners outfitted with a dual-class configuration on Bombardier’s production line. These five dual-class aircraft are currently in service with the airline and its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo.
In total, the carriers operate a fleet of 13 Q400 NextGen airliners as well as the first full-flight simulator for Q400 turboprops installed in Africa. Ethiopian also recently announced a new strategic partnership with Malawian Airlines that will see the upstart airline leverage Ethiopian-sourced aircraft, including the NextGen turboprop.
This announcement follows earlier news that Bombardier established a full service Regional Support Office and Parts Depot in Johannesburg, South Africa. The additions are the latest in Bombardier’s accelerated service and support deployment throughout Africa. In 2012, Bombardier appointed its first commercial aircraft ASF on the continent, as well as another serving business aircraft operators.
More than 240 Bombardier business and commercial aircraft are based in Africa. Ethiopian Airlines will join a network of more than 60 ASF and Line Maintenance Facilities (LMF) that serve operators of Bombardier business and commercial aircraft spanning across more than 25 countries worldwide. The new Ethiopian Airlines ASF will work in close collaboration with Bombardier’s maintenance network of wholly-owned service centres and ASFs in the same time zone, as well as its network of parts hubs and depots, including the newly announced Johannesburg parts depot, which will be operational 24/7.