July 19, 2024

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ethiopian airlines and air nigeria partnership

Ethiopian Airlines & Air Nigeria Fail to Form a Partnership

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Ethiopian Airlines and the Nigerian government have abandoned their plans to establish a joint venture airline called Air Nigeria.

In a recent interview, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew revealed that the government of Nigeria has lost interest in partnering with a foreign airline for this venture. The proposed ownership structure would have given Nigerian investors a 46% stake, the Nigerian government a 5% stake, and Ethiopian Airlines a 49% stake, so, the plan to establish a joint venture airline called Air Nigeria is canceled.

However, Tasew stated that the two sides were unable to resolve key issues, preventing them from signing any formal agreement. Despite this setback, Tasew emphasized that it will not stop Ethiopian Airlines from continuing to develop joint venture partnerships with other airlines across Africa.

The company has been actively evaluating opportunities in several African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea, where other airlines have approached Ethiopian Airlines for support.

Tasew also highlighted the success of Ethiopian Airlines’ existing joint ventures, such as with ASKY Airlines in Togo (40% stake) and Malawi Airlines (its first JV). The airline is also continuing to develop its 45% stake in Zambia Airways.

Tasew said the airline is hiring and training more aviation professionals, including pilots and technicians, to support its continued growth. Ethiopian Airlines carried 13.9 million passengers in 2023 and expects to carry 18 million passengers in 2024.

Last month, Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated a new domestic flight service to Nekemte Gudina Tumsa International Airport in the Oromia region. The construction of Nekemte Gudina Tumsa International Airport completed at a cost of 1.3 billion birr. Read More…

Currently, Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to more than 136 international and 23 domestic destinations using its fleet of 144 aircraft. By strategically adding new routes within Ethiopia, the national carrier aims to provide greater accessibility and convenience for travelers across the country.

However, the airline faces challenges such as a shortage of aircraft, spare parts, and constrained capacity, as well as traffic rights restrictions not only within Africa but also in other regions like Europe. Tasew said the airline wants to fly to destinations like Munich and Amsterdam, but traffic rights and available slots are an issue.

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