Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) has signed a partnership agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) for the opening of a B767-300 P2F conversion line at Addis Ababa airport.

A press release said the first aircraft due to undergo conversion in Addis Ababa will be three Ethiopian B767-300(ER)s. Once converted into B767-300(ERBDSF)s, they will be the first aircraft of the type in Ethiopian's freighter fleet which currently consists of three B737-800(SF)s and nine B777-Fs.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Ethiopian has three B767-300(ER)s in its inventory namely ET-ALJ (msn 33767) (in service for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service), ET-ALO (msn 33768), ET-ALP (msn 33769) that are currently in active commercial service. A fourth B767, ET-AWQ (msn 30393), though on Ethiopian's AOC, is actually owned by CEIBA Intercontinental (C2, Malabo) which uses it as a VIP transport.

An Ethiopian spokesperson has since confirmed to ch-aviation the three active in-house jets are the ones slated for P2F conversion, which will start in September.

IAI's Executive VP and General Manager of Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed, said: “We are witnessing a sharp rise in the demand for cargo aircraft as a result of the rise in e-commerce, which has peaked to record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. IAI has an excellent reputation as a conversion centre of passenger-to-freighters aircraft, and we are constantly receiving requests to open such conversion centres in more and more locations around the world. I am excited by the opening of the current centre in Ethiopia, and thank my colleagues in Ethiopian Airlines for the trust they have put in IAI’s Aviation Group, as the world’s leader in conversions."

Once operational, the P2F conversion line in Ethiopia will join IAI's existing sites at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion and México City Int'l.