Recognising the immense aviation potential in Africa, Pretoria-based Aerosud Group has just aligned itself with Ethiopian Airlines. Managing director Johan Steyn signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tewolde Gebremariam, group chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, at the latter’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.
In a recent interview, Gebremariam said Ethiopia was investing heavily in infrastructure to back the airline’s mission and its pan- African sentiment. “Africa is going to be the global stage of competition for manufacturing industrialisation and tourism,” he stated.
Steyn said: “We would like to share Aerosud’s long years of experience working with major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus to help Ethiopia in the development of the aerospace manufacturing industry in that country. We will continue to seek close relationships with Tier 1 entities and OEMs, because we believe that is how we become relevant in the global marketplace, and also how we’ll secure longevity.”
Under this MoU, the airline will start aerospace manufacturing in Ethiopia and supplying aircraft parts to Boeing, Airbus and other aerospace companies.
Aerosud is the single-source producer and supplier of a range of A320, A350 and B737 aircraft parts, components and assemblies, ranging from thermoplastic and composite panelling to cockpit and cabin interiors. This includes continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP), as well as deep-drawn pressings for structural portions, such as wings and fuselages, to sheet metal and machined components, and fully equipped galleys.
Ethiopian Airlines, celebrating 70 years of operations this year, and one of Africa’s fastest-growing airlines, is hoping to prosper further through this venture with Aerosud. The airline is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025, which is aimed at making it the leading aviation group in Africa, with seven business centres.