Ethiopian Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Unit has achieved another milestone with the successful fitting of blended winglets to its Boeing 767-300ER. The modification was completed and test flight was successfully performed and the aircraft will go into operations with the new fitting. This will make the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Unit of Ethiopian Airlines the first in Africa to fit these winglets to its aircraft.
The B767-300ER blended winglets are expected to reduce fuel burn by up to 5% and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 5,000 tons per year. The blended winglets will improve the 767-300ER performance from Addis by increasing the takeoff weight to 2.0 - 2.5 tons and the payload range by 204 nautical miles.
Ato Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO Ethiopian Airlines said, "I would like to congratulate our MRO team for the outstanding performance and for the job well done. From an economics point of view, the winglets will allow the airline to make substantial cost saving, through lower fuel consumption, which is highly critical at a time when the industry as a whole is feeling the brunt of persistent high fuel prices. This fitting will also reduce engine maintenance cost. The winglets will enhance our take-off performance specifically from our high altitude hub and increase our payload including the flight range."
Ato Tewolde further added, "Ethiopian Airlines has made the choice of purchasing winglets for our B767 because of the enormous performance and operating value they bring. The winglets will contribute greatly to our constant and comprehensive effort to continuously reduce our carbon footprint, through lower airport noise and emissions."
Ato Zemene Nega, Senior Vice President of MRO at Ethiopia Airlines also noted, "I sincerely believe that the fitting of these blended winglets will contribute to our productivity. Applying this technology of blended winglets will add on improved operating economies as fuel is the largest part of our airline's operating expenses."
In November 2011, Ethiopian MRO has received the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 Approval, which makes the MRO capable of issuing all internationally recognized maintenance certificates for airplanes and components.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946 and now the Airline provides dependable services to 65 international destinations spanning four continents.
Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,290 airports in 189 countries.
Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products. In the recent past, Ethiopian received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the "AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011 Award” for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian also won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and "the Airline of the Year 2009 Award" from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).
With its acquisition of and firm orders for several new modern fleet, the airline is well positioned to pursue aggressively the implementation of its 2025 strategic plan to become the leading aviation group in Africa.