Ethiopian Airlines In Discussions Over South African Airways Rescue

Flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines chief executive officer Tewolde Gebremariam said the company is in rescue discussions regarding South African Airways (SAA).Gebremariam told Reuters that the talks are in preliminary stages. 

The bankrupt South African flag carrier has remained inactive for more than five months. It has also remained in administrative protection since late last year. The government requires at least ZAR10bn ($595m) of funding for the carrier. 

Following the restrictions imposed by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic, SAA has not operated a single commercial passenger flight since March. 

Gebremariam said: “Some discussion is taking place between ET and the South African Public Enterprises Ministry. 

“But it is at a very initial level and part of a general overview of pan-African cooperation in the aviation world between ET and SAA.” 

Last month, South Africa’s Government commenced negotiations with private entities that expressed interest in the carrier.

In May, SAA signed an agreement with regional feeder airline Airlink. According to the agreement, Airlink will re-issue and re-accommodate SAA (083) tickets issued on Airlink SA8 flights on Airlink (749) tickets.  

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines is down by nearly $1bn in ticket revenue due to the pandemic, reported Reuters. 

In July, Singapore Airlines (SIA) raised S$750m ($541m) in funding as part of its efforts to boost liquidity amid the Covid-19 crisis.

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