Africa’s aviation power house Ethiopian Airlines is interested in a stake of struggling rival South African Airways.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam confirmed the airline has made contact with the South African officials over a possible stake in the airline.
“Some discussion is taking place between Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and the South Africa Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), but it is a very initial level and part of a general overview of pan-African co-operation in the aviation world between ET and SAA.”
In August the DPE confirmed that there was interest in SAA from private investors and that they had received unsolicited inquiries on the airline.
“Government is intent on perusing credible proposals for investment and strategic partnership with the private sector, as well as equity participation for employees. Such partners will also introduce technical, financial and operational expertise.”
Ethiopian Airlines are no strangers to Southern African airlines. ET currently has partnered LAM Mozambique and Malawian Airlines. They are currently working with Zambian official in the delayed launch of Zambia Airways.
In 2018 talks between the Zimbabwean officials and Ethiopian Airlines lost momentum for unknown reasons. Zimbabwe was looking for partners to revive Air Zimbabwe, another iconic Southern African airline that has been experiencing a decade long turbulence.
The South African Airways business rescue plan requires funding of US$585 million dollars and the government is yet to commit the funds.
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