Ethiopia, South Sudan Establish a New Airline
The management of Ethiopian Airlines is finalizing negotiations with the Government of South Sudan to establish a new regional airline in Juba, which will serve as a flag carrier for the newly-born African nation.
Ethiopian Airlines will hold a 49 percent stake on the new start-up airline while the Government of South Sudan will own the majority 51 percent share. A senior official of Ethiopian told The Reporter that they started the negotiation early this year and hope to finalize and sign the deal next month.
At the initial stage the start-up airline will operate scheduled domestic flights in South Sudan and regional flights to neighboring countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The new airline will feed passengers to Ethiopian Airlines. “Initially, the airline will serve domestic and regional routes but eventually it will go international,” the official said.
Initially, Ethiopian will deploy senior staff members to manage the start-up airline. Ethiopian will train and empower South Sudanese staff who will take over the management of the airline eventually. “It is not like any other management contract. We will build their capacity so that they can run their own airline.”