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Business News of Tuesday, 27 July 2021


National Airline: Egypt Air’s selection as strategic partner a ‘bad move’ – Aviation expert

EgyptAir will provide some four Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft to the Accra-based airline EgyptAir will provide some four Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft to the Accra-based airline

• An aviation expert has kicked against government's move to select Egypt Air as the preferred strategic partner for Ghana's home-based carrier

•Micheal Yao Foli believes Egypt Air is not in the best financial state to run the affairs of the national carrier

•He says the airline is also not liquid enough to make the venture a viable one

A retired pilot and aviation expert has described government’s decision to engage Egypt Air as a strategic partner for the establishment a national carrier as a ‘bad move’.

According to Micheal Yao Foli, the northern Africa airline is not liquid enough to make the venture a viable one.

In an interaction with Accra-based, Asaase Radio, monitored by GhanaWeb, Yao Foli pointed that Egypt Air is currently in dire financial distress hence government’s decision to partner with it will not be in the best interest of the country.

“What I know is that EgyptAir itself right now is in financial problem. In 2020, EgyptAir got about US$318 million from the government to run the airline and in 2021 they are asking for the same money,” he stated.

“What do they want to use the money for; to pay their wages, to pay for loans and to pay the cost of leasing aircraft. So, this is a company that needs money to do these, what are they going to do to help us,” Foli stressed.

He continued, “They are talking about four Boeing 737, you don’t start an airline with four aircraft, so they are probably going to offload their surplus aircraft on us and then they will be repatriating all the money we make to pay for those aircraft,” Foli added.

Already, government through a new committee is looking to peruse for the best possible modalities for the establishment of a new home-based carrier.

According to details of the move first reported in June this year, the reconstituted committee which is chaired by Twumasi Ankra-Selby is expected to soon submit their recommendations on Egypt’s Air proposal to government.

This comes after Ghana’s Aviation Ministry and Egypt Air in October 2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and subsequently reached an agreement for the establishment of a new national carrier.

The choice of Cairo-based EgyptAir as the preferred strategic partner follows series of engagement with senior management team of the airline and the committee of aviation experts constituted by Ghana’s former Aviation Ministry.

Despite an MoU in place last year with the Ethiopian Airlines, the agreement to establish a home-based carrier was held back over some concerns pertaining to funding, tenure of management contract, flight routes and others.

Meanwhile, Egypt Air is expected to commence operations of a new national airline for Ghana called; “Air Ghana,” news portal Bloomberg earlier announced in March this year.

Roshdy Zakaria, Chief executive officer of EgyptAir Holding Co. explained the new national carrier for Ghana will begin operations “in a couple of months.”

Zakaria said EgyptAir will provide some four Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft to the Accra-based airline in which it will have a 75 percent stake/share.