ABU DHABI- The worldwide demand for cargo aircraft has risen considerably due to the rise in e-commerce driven by the coronavirus pandemic, said Boaz Levy, CEO and President of Israel Aerospace Industries, a world-class aerospace and defence company, and a globally-recognised powerhouse for cargo conversions.
The pandemic had an undeniable impact on the aviation industry, impacting every sector in aviation in a different way, Levy said in a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM).
"Likewise, every sector learned to adapt and adjust to the new reality," he pointed out.
Driven by its expertise in cargo conversions and a growing demand, IAI’s Aviation Group has established a number of new conversion sites globally, including in Abu Dhabi. Other locations include Italy, Ethiopia and South Korea.
"As e-commerce rises and demand for cargo aircraft rises with it, IAI will continue providing the world with a leading solution that will be impactful for decades to come. Converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration, [ensures] that companies’ investments in their aircraft last an additional 15-20 years with continued profit," Levy said.
Despite the pandemic, global security challenges have remained, and the demand for defence, space, cyber, and other security solutions is rising. IAI is looking to enhance its existing partnerships and forge new ones with its first time participation at the Dubai Airshow, being held from 14th to 18th November.
"IAI is thrilled to be part of history and exhibit at the Dubai Airshow this year. IAI and the UAE are natural partners - both being regional tech hubs and leaders in the start-up ecosystem, sharing a novel innovative and entrepreneurial spirit," Levy said.
"The world-class Dubai Airshow presents us with the unique opportunity to develop new partnerships and strengthen existing collaborations with partners in the UAE, Gulf region, and globally," he added.
In this context, IAI signed an agreement at the Dubai Airshow to convert four B777-300ER passenger aircraft to cargo configuration for Emirates. The aircraft will be converted at the new site established in Etihad Engineering’s MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) centre in Abu Dhabi, and the first conversion of the Emirates plane is expected to begin in early 2023. The agreement has potential to provide passenger-to-freighter conversion services.
In the past year, IAI has signed cooperation agreements with Etihad Engineering (building a B777 cargo conversion centre in Abu Dhabi), with Gulf Air (MRO maintenance line in the Tel Aviv), with Group 42 (using radars to tackle COVID-19 detection), among others. "We are very excited to continue this momentum and announce new, exciting partnerships," Levy said.
"Israel and the UAE share a deep passion for innovation, development, and exploration. Both countries are young, and their start-up ecosystems drive forward unique projects," he concluded.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.