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30.05.2005 Business & Finance

GIAL and Ethiopian Airlines announce partnership

By ADM

Slowly, but surely, the new Ghanaian carrier is making headway in its programme of taking to the skies this year.

Last week ADM had information that "Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise ("Ethiopian"), The Republic of Ghana ("Ghana") and the Ghana International Airlines Limited ("GIAL") have announced that Ethiopian has reached agreement with the founding shareholders of GIAL on an equity investment in GIAL and a comprehensive partnership."

Under the terms of the agreement, Ethiopian will make a substantial cash investment in GIAL and receive 20% of the capital stock of GIAL.

The two airlines will also team up to offer a wide ranging code share and alliance agreement that will enable their passengers to have better access to the combined worldwide network of the two airlines.

The partnership will also give GIAL access to Ethiopia's proven technical, commercial and management expertise and training facilities through a services agreement.

Ghana, as one of the two founding shareholders of GIAL, has expressed its pleasure with the progress of GIAL and the addition of Ethiopian as a partner in the new national flag carrier based out of Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

The Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs said: "Ghana believes that Ethiopian Airlines can and will add tremendous strength to the start up of GIAL, as it is an experienced well-managed airline in Africa."

J. Ralph Atkin, Chief Executive Officer of GIAL said, "GIAL is excited about reaching this agreement with Ethiopian, the most respected name in African aviation Ethiopian's eastern hub in Addis Ababa is a perfect complement to our planned western hub in Accra and makes them a natural fit as a partner for GIAL."

Mr Girma Wake, CEO Ethiopian, said: "This partnership is a major milestone in the aviation history of Africa and will create an exemplary success model for cooperation among Africans in the spirit of Pan-Africanism."

Ghana International Airlines Limited is the newly designated flag carrier of the Republic of Ghana. Incorporated in late 2004, GIAL plans to develop Accra as the "Gateway to Africa" providing connection from Europe and North America to Accra and onward within Africa.

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise is the national carrier of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia. Founded in 1945, Ethiopian today operates a fleet of modern Boeing aircraft on a route network centered at Addis Ababa that covers Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America.

This partnership means that GIAL is now in a position to start its African operations scheduled for July 2005 and European schedules in October 2005.

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