Ethiopian to partner South Sudanese government in new carrier

Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) has reportedly reached an agreement with the government of South Sudan over the establishment of a new national carrier there. CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that his airline will hold a 49% stake in the airline with Juba holding the remaining 51%.

Following a tender process in 2012, Atlasjet Airlines (KK, Antalya) was selected as the preferred partner for a new South Sudanese carrier only to pull out of the project in early 2013.

Since independence in 2011, South Sudan has seen a variety of start-ups with South Supreme Airlines (JUA, Juba), owned by local tycoon Ayii Duang Ayii, the most prominent.

For its part, the establishment of a carrier in Central Africa is in line with Ethiopian's strategy of setting up subsidiaries in Africa's West, South and Central/East regions to provide feeder services to its Addis Ababa intercontinental hub.

Thus far, Ethiopian's regional operations include ASKY Airlines (KP, Lomé) based out of Togo and Malawian Airlines (3W, Blantyre) based out Malawi. Ethiopian has also announced plans to develop a carrier based out of Kinshasa N'Djili though the status of that project is currently unknown.

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