Etihad Engineering and IAI “Provide Leading Professional Solution to Air Cargo Industry”
Etihad Engineering, the provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for commercial aircraft in the Middle East, has signed a strategic partnership with Israel’s aerospace industries (IAI), to provide passenger-to-cargo (P2F) conversions on Boeing 777-300ERs.
In 2019, IAI and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced the launch of the Boeing 777-300ERSF, a program that established a P2F conversion dubbed “The Big Twin,” denoting its status as the largest twin-engine freighter of all time.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the aviation industry, cargo operations are making up for losses to operators as they continue to play a vital role in facilitating international trade. As a result, industry forecasts show an increase in demand for widebody cargo aircraft with long-haul capability.
Etihad Engineering will capitalize on its expertise and extensive capabilities for the specialized conversion of the Boeing 777-300ERSF. In the initial phase of the partnership, Etihad Engineering will facilitate the creation of two conversion lines that can accommodate multiple aircraft conversions per year.
Tony Douglas, Group Managing Director, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The Boeing 777-300ERSF is not only extremely attractive to customers, but also a technological breakthrough, as it is the first in its size class to offer complete cargo solutions. Not only do we see the demand, but we see it as a greener, more cost effective and highly innovative solution for our airline customers, and a great way to generate value for our business. “
Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Managing Director, Etihad Engineering, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with IAI which maximizes the potential of our highly skilled workforce and strengthens Etihad Engineering’s position as a center of excellence in Abu Dhabi in accordance with the vision Abu Dhabi Economic 2030. Our commitment to the P2F program demonstrates our confidence in IAI’s ability to deliver long-term value enhancement of the B777-300ERs in the global fleet.
Boaz Levy, President and CEO, Israel Aerospace Industries, said: “The Abraham Accords gave IAI the opportunity to expand its global business to the Gulf region. IAI is active in more than 100 countries around the world. The establishment of the conversion site in partnership with Etihad Engineering demonstrates IAI’s close ties with the United Arab Emirates and strengthens its foothold in the region. I am convinced that this agreement will lead to many more partnerships with local businesses in the Gulf States, which will further develop our business in the region. “
Yossi Melamed, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Israel Aerospace Industries Aviation Group, said, “IAI’s Aviation Group, the world’s leading provider of cargo conversion, has started structural modification of the Boeing 777-300ERSF in cooperation with GECAS to provide a leading professional solution to the air cargo industry. For many years Etihad Engineering has received the highest professional consideration from IAI Aviation Group. The Abraham Agreements allowed us to meet directly with the leaders of the company, to see their competence and their dedication, in addition to witnessing the great capabilities of the company in the field of jet aircraft maintenance.
The agreement we signed adds an important level to the relations between Israel and the Gulf States. I have no doubt that as a result of this agreement, additional agreements with companies in the region will be reached, and they will benefit the parties concerned economically. I would like to thank Tony Douglas, CEO of the company, and my friend Abdul Khaliq Saeed for the energy they invested in making the first cooperation agreement between IAI and Etihad Engineering a reality. I look forward to when the B77-300ERSF jets jointly converted by IAI and Etihad Engineering take flight and serve customers around the world.