By Sade Williams/Business a.m.
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 of 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 conceptualised 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.
Abdérahmane Berthé, AFRAA Secretary General, speaking at the ceremony, stated thus: “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 two 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,” he added.
Mesfin Tassew, group chief executive officer, Ethiopian Airlines, 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 MROs 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,” he added.
“This Tripartite Agreement will correct the trajectory of the Aviation comeback,” said Dahir Mohammed, president and chief executive officer, 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 organisations.
The management of the Airline’s MRO excess of spare parts inventory both locally and from the USA shall be coordinated through a virtual consignments platform.
The Brown Condor Initiative is code named after John C. Robinson, a colonel and the first African American aviator, who also participated in the Ethiopian victorious war against Italy. Through this unique joint initiative, UTD Aviation and AFRAA seek to re-establish African aviation renaissance in MRO services and aircraft spares.