Why Ethiopian Airlines wants to take over Airk Air

Boeing 737 Max 8

Ethiopian Airlines is discussing with the Nigerian government to take over carrier Arik Air, to further expand their presence in the African region.

The Director of International Service at the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Mr Esayas Weldemariam, confirmed that they were expanding their presence in West Africa, Allafrica reports.

“Following the bid opened by the Nigerian government, we are negotiating to secure management contract of Arik Air,” Mr Esayas said, responding to the rumours about the impending deal.

“Based on the terms and conditions set by the Government of Nigeria, Ethiopian Airlines has submitted its offer to take over the management of Arik Air… We are bidding with other airlines, if we agree on the negotiations, we are ready to go and take over the management,” he said.

Ethiopian Airlines Group, which has several related business wings, envisages becoming a USD10 billion revenue generating company by 2030, with a total of 140 aircraft, according to Mr Esayas.

Following the failure to service its debts and pay employees’ salaries, Arik Air was last February taken over by the government.

Ethiopian Airlines also manages Asky Airlines in Lome, in a joint ownership with the Togo government, and the Malawian Airlines, also jointly with the government.

The Addis Ababa flag carrier, which began operations in April 1946, has won several accolades in the recent past including African Airline of the Year in 2015 and 2016 by the African Aviation and in 2014 ranked the largest in Africa in revenue by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

It currently has a fleet of 92 aircraft, flying to 104 international 19 local destinations.

The airline reported a 70 per cent jump in full year 2016 net profit to USD265 million boosted by an 18 per cent increase in passenger numbers over the period.

Meanwhile earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) certified Arik Air to have demonstrated full compliance with its procedures with the presentation of its IGOM certificate to the airline, thus becoming the latest African airline to be listed on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Ground Operations Manual (IGOM) registry. IGOM Registry displays companies who were able to demonstrate full compliance with the IGOM procedures.

Arik Air was said to have started the rigorous certification process in 2016.

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