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The national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has concluded a deal to secure 49 percent share in Malawi Airlines Limited (Air Malawi).
The management of Ethiopian Airlines has been negotiating with the Malawi Public Private Partnership (PPP) Commission following ET’s invitation by the Malawian Privatization Commission, as a preferred bidder for the privatization of Air Malawi.
According to the plan, the Malawi government will control only 20 percent of the share at the airlines and the balance 31% will be offered for interested Malawi citizen share buyers.
The two sides have been negotiating for several months to work in partnership to boost the operation of the defunct Southern African country’s state-owned flag carrier.
Based on the deal Malawi will have a 51 percent share in the new carrier and Ethiopian Airlines will hold the other 49 percent. In addition the Ethiopian Airlines will supply two aircraft for the new venture.
The government of Malawi invited companies to present their expressions of interest (EOI) for the partial acquisition of its failing airline. Subsequently, 11 airlines submitted their EOI to the Malawi Privatisation Authority. Ernst & Young was tasked to study the privatisation of Air Malawi, which had ceased operations.
After evaluating the expression of interest, eight companies were selected to participate in the bid. Three of the eight companies – Ethiopian Airlines, Fly Africa and Global Business Networks – were the finalists, and Ethiopian was finally selected by the commission with preferable points.
The current move will be good opportunity for Ethiopian that is looking to form regional hub in southern part of the continent. ET, one of the African giant, has already stake on ASKY Airlines based in Lome, Togo since three years ago. This has allowed ET to establish a regional hub in the western part of the continent.
Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian is currently operating an all-Boeing fleet of 60 planes. It flies to 75 international and 17 domestic destinations.