Tim Stake / Boeing
A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, in Ethiopian Airlines livery, prior to delivery.

Boeing Linked to African Parts Plant Project

Aug. 22, 2023
A manufacturing joint venture with Ethiopian Airlines would produce aircraft thermo-acoustic insulation blankets, electrical wire harnesses, and other parts at a plant near Addis Ababa.

Boeing reportedly is forming a joint venture with Ethiopian Airlines to manufacture aircraft parts in Ethiopia, to supply regional customers. As well as being a Boeing customer, Ethiopian is Africa’s largest airline.

Boeing has not confirmed its role in the project, which is said to have a capitalization of $15 million and will be sited at a plant built by the airline about 15 years ago.

The development schedule for the new manufacturer has not been announced.

In a social media post, the Ethiopian Investment Commission announced it had entered into a memo of understanding with Ethiopian Airlines and the Industrial Parks Development Corporation of Ethiopia, to establish manufacturing of aircraft thermo-acoustic insulation blankets, electrical wire harnesses, and other parts at a plant near Addis Ababa. The venture would employ more than 300, according to the Commission’s announcement.

The apparent strategy is to supply critical repair and replacement parts to airlines enduring supply chain disruptions, which have been noted all over the world. The war in Ukraine and the embargo on Russia-sourced materials and parts has prolonged a supply problem that began during the Covid-19 pandemic.

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines operates a fleet of 129 passenger jets and 15 cargo aircraft, most of which are Boeing models.

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