Ethiopian Airlines to partner with RwandAir

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According to Ethiopian newspaper The Reporter relayed by Rwandan Flyer, Ethiopian Airlines is poised to become a strategic partner of RwandAir by purchasing a stake in the airline. The Rwandan Ministry of Transport has offered 49% of its national airline for sale and Ethiopian Airlines is likely to be the winning bidder. Etihad is also said to be interested in that stake.

An Ethiopian Airlines delegation has met with both the Board of Directors of Rwandair and members of the Rwandan government to discuss a possible shareholding.

RwandAir already has an agreement with Ethiopian for the maintenance of its Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400 fleets and for the training of its crew and technicians.

The final decision of RwandAir should come in early 2016.

The government of Rwanda is the sole proprietor of RwandAir and has heavily invested in the airline from 2009, buying a new fleet and expanding the route structure. RwandAir is serving 16 destinations with 8 short- and medium-haul aircraft and has new long-haul planes on order. Although the  airline has not yet been profitable since its inception, it expects to show a profit in 2016.

Reported by André Orban

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