Ethiopian Airlines' maintenance arm has been approved to overhaul CFM International CFM56-3 and -7B engines.
The Addis Ababa-based flag carrier invested around $21 million over the past three years to develop full overhaul capability for the powerplants of both legacy Boeing 737-300/400/500s as well as current generation 737s under a support agreement with the engine manufacturer.
General Electric assisted Ethiopian MRO Services in building up the capabilities, which involved expanding the engine shop, upgrading the existing test cell, training staff and purchasing necessary tools and machinery.
The 12,000m² (129,000ft²) facility has been certified for CFM56 overhaul by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and US Federal Aviation Administration, says the carrier.
Given that it also conducts airframe maintenance for 737s and other Boeing aircraft, Ethiopian MRO Services hopes to win more business from 737 operators across Africa and the Middle East.
The company has developed a strategic roadmap, dubbed 'Vision 2025', to become "the most competitive MRO service provider in Africa". This will involve "substantial investment" to build up capabilities for other engines and components.
Aside from CFM56s, the company offers full overhaul for Pratt & Whitney Canada PW121, PW127 and PT6 turboprop engines as well as Honeywell GTCP331-200 auxiliary power units.
Ethiopian MRO Services also conducts module changes for Pratt & Whitney PW2000 and PW4000 turbofans.