Ethiopian Airlines Considers Purchasing Stake In Struggling South African Airways
A record 12.1 million passengers flew with Ethiopian Airlines during the first six months of 2019.
It is now looking to invest in other airlines around Africa, including new carriers planned for Ghana and Zambia. A stake in South Africa’s state-owned airline may also be on the table.
Tewolde GebreMariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, has expressed an interest in the struggling South African carrier.
“We are interested in supporting South African Airways,” GebreMariam said in an interview. “We would consider it,” he said, according to Businesstech.
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The two airlines are already partners in the Star Alliance, the world’s largest global airline alliance based in Germany.
South Africa’s financially unstable state-owned enterprises are weighing on the economy. Finance minister Tito Mboweni had to allocate additional funds to debt-ridden companies including power utility Eskom and South African Airways.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that his government is in talks with potential investors who are interested in South African Airways.
“South African Airways is one of those state-owned enterprises that has relied on lots of state bailouts,” Ramaphosa said at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London, according to Reuters.
“We are on record as saying we are open to the participation of the private sector. As we speak now, we’re talking to a few interested parties when it comes to SAA,” he added.