26.04.2005 Business & Finance

Ethiopia Airlines Confirms Interest In New National Airline

By jfm
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Ghana International Airlines and officials of the Ghana government are indeed talking to Ethiopian Airlines.

Officials of Ethiopia Airlines have confirmed to Joy News that they are in negotiations.

The talks are about the possibility of Ethiopian Airlines having a stake or owning part of the new airline company to be set up when Ghana airways officially winds up.

A report in the Statesman Newspaper had indicated that an Ethiopian team, which was in the country last week to negotiate with government officials, reached an understanding which may see the Ghana government with a 25% share in the new airline and 40 percent to Ethiopian Airlines and GIA.

The move has become necessary following Ghana International Airlines' inability to raise the almost 3 million dollars, as part of its 30% stake to help the new national airline begin operations in June.

The Public Relations Manager of Ethiopian Airlines, Kagnew Fesaha, says the issues on the negotiation table are broad but the discussions concentrated on how the two airlines can cooperate in various areas to possibly acquire a share in Ghana Airways.

Asked if Ethiopian Airways is interested in a 40 per cent share in Ghana Airways he says, “ I cannot comment on the exact number of shares Ethiopian Airlines is buying but generally I will say that it is one of the things on the table.”

He says Ethiopian Airlines is putting on the negotiating table training agreement, maintenance facilities, a possible cost sharing between West African and the US and investments in Ghana Airways.

Quizzed if there are positive signals in the negotiations, he says “ I could say that the negotiation is in the advance stage now but it is very difficult to set a time table as to when the negotiations will be finalized, but we hope it will be soon”.

“ Ethiopian Airlines is very much interested in Ghana Airways West African presence, and our intentions are to work with Ghana airways en routes to West Africa and the US and possibly within West Africa,” he says.

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