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Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines Expand Wire Harness Production

CHICAGO, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Ethiopian Airlines today announced an agreement to double wire harness production at Ethiopian Airlines' Wire Harness Facility.

The Wire Harness Facility, based in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, opened in 2009 and currently supplies seat-to-seat wire harnesses for all Boeing commercial airplane programs. Following today's announcement Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines will place additional work at the facility, which will double its output by the end of 2014. With support from Boeing, Ethiopian will manufacture more varied and complex wire harnesses, expanding its value as an aerospace supplier.

Today's agreement was signed at The Corporate Council on Africa's 9th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Chicago, designed to develop closer business relationships between African and U.S. industries.

"Today's agreement opens a new chapter in the 60 plus years of mutually beneficial partnership between Ethiopian and Boeing.  It is also a concrete testament that Ethiopian is no longer just an airline but is transforming itself into an aviation service provider of quality products, utilizing the latest technology," said Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, and recipient of the African Business Leader of the Year award by the Corporate Council on Africa in 2012. "In line with our Vision 2025, we have re-structured our maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) division into a strategic business unit that will develop new capabilities, enabling it to become the most competitive and leading provider of commercial aircraft MRO services in Africa."    

The increased output in Addis Ababa has been made possible by the Wire Harness Facility's ability to consistently deliver high-quality products. In 2012, Ethiopian Airlines' facility was recognized by Boeing for its outstanding performance and awarded a gold rating in Boeing's Performance Excellence Awards – the highest rating a Boeing supplier can achieve.

"Today's agreement is testament to the world-class competitiveness and capabilities of Ethiopian industry," said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines already share a rich history based on trust, collaboration and the pursuit of excellence. The expansion of work in developing wire harnesses is another significant chapter in the long shared history between both companies."

Celebrating 66 years of partnership with Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines currently operates a passenger fleet dominated by Boeing airplanes, including Next-Generation 737s, 757s, 767s, 777s, and 787s and a cargo fleet that includes 757s, an MD11 and 777 Freighters.

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