Ethiopian Airlines MRO, UTD Aviation Solutions and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have signed a tripartite MoU to work together on Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services in pursuance to the The Brown Condor Initiative (BCI). The signing ceremony took place at Ethiopian Airlines headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Brown Condor Initiative (BCI) is a joint initiative which was conceptualized in 2020 and officially launched by UTD Aviation Solutions and AFRAA in May 2021. The BCI project is aimed at providing a platform for AFRAA members with Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities to relieve USA MRO workforce crunch in terms of both facilities and manpower constraints, as well as support other airlines from USA in MRO services and aircraft spares.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé, AFRAA Secretary General stated: “This signing ceremony with Ethiopian Airlines is a significant milestone in the Brown Condor project. We express our appreciation to Ethiopian Airlines as the first African airline to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will operationalize the objectives of this robust Project.”
“For 2 years, as part of the industry recovery measures at AFRAA, we have been working with partners to bring solutions to our members to reduce costs or increase revenues. We look forward to onboard other AFRAA airlines with EASA or FAA Certified MRO capabilities onto this project. Our joint efforts reflect a paradigm shift in the MRO industry.” Mr Berthé added.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tassew on his part, said: “Ethiopian MRO Services, as the largest MRO service provider in Africa, is continuously increasing its capacity and expanding its reach to customers in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. We are pleased to sign this MoU with UTD and AFRAA as it is in line with our plan to increase our market reach and build our presence in North America and tap into the big potential market in the region.”
“The pandemic has exposed how delicate the aviation pipeline truly is. OEMs and MRO’s have consistent demand for airframe checks and engine shop visits, and a relatively predictable demand for new, repaired and used spares. Without a major Paradigm Shift, we will never find a solution. The African Aviation Renaissance is the Paradigm Shift needed for the solution to this Crisis. This Tripartite Agreement will correct the trajectory of the Aviation comeback.” said Dahir Mohammed, President and CEO of UTD Aviation Solutions.
The MoU will forge collaboration between AFRAA member Airlines’ associated MROs with US Airlines, MROs, OEMS, Distributors and other US civil aviation organizations companies. The management of the Airline’s MRO excess of spare parts inventory both locally and from USA shall be coordinated through a virtual consignments platform.
The Brown Condor Initiative is code named after Colonel John C. Robinson the first African American aviator who also participated in the Ethiopian victorious war against Italy. Colonel John C. Robinson was enlisted by the then Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as a fighter pilot. He immediately began training young Ethiopians in the technical complexities of aviation, especially pilots in preparation for war. For his daring service amid Ethiopian skies, Robinson earned international renown as the “Brown Condor of Ethiopia.” Through this unique joint initiative, UTD Aviation and AFRAA seek to re-establish African aviation renaissance in MRO services and aircraft spares.
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seventy-five years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success. Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the Pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 130 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787-8, Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, Bombardier Q-400 double cabin with an average fleet age of seven years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft. Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with Seven business units: Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian ADD Hub Ground Services, Ethiopian Airports Services and Ethiopian Express Services (Domestic). Ethiopian is a multi-award-winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the pre covid seven years.