Ethiopian eyes stake in South Africa airline
SEE ALSO :Hotel eyes more Ethiopian tourists“We are interested in supporting South African Airways,” he said in an interview at Ethiopian’s head office near Addis Ababa airport. If South Africa asked Ethiopian to buy a stake, “we would consider it,” Tewolde said. Ethiopian and SAA are already partners in the Star Alliance. The group had discussions with SAA’s former Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana before his resignation in May, Tewolde said. A deal may involve help with SAA’s chronic debt problem, with banks withholding further loans until the airline can present a repayment plan for 9.2 billion rand ($611 million) of borrowings. SAA has not yet appointed a permanent replacement for Jarana. The parlous financial state of South Africa’s weak state-owned enterprises is weighing on the economy, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni having little choice but to allocate additional funds to debt-ridden companies, from power utility Eskom Holdings to the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
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