Senegal plans to launch a new national airline to replace loss-making Senegal Airlines, which had its air operator’s certificate revoked last month amid mounting debts, Finance Minister Amadou Ba said on Monday.
“Senegal has initiated the creation process of a new airline”, he said at a news conference with his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, in Dakar. “In the coming days, we should have a new airline.
Ba gave no further details, but recent history suggests that a new Senegal carrier would face significant challenges in the face of increased international competition that has squeezed a number of African airlines in recent years.
Senegal Airlines was founded in 2009 as a joint venture between a grouping of private sector investors, which held a majority stake of 64 percent, and the Senegalese state, which owned the remainder.
However, it accumulated debts that by last year amounted to an estimated 45 billion CFA francs ($78.3 million).
Last month Cape Verde’s national airline said that it planned to cut nearly a quarter of its staff and review flight routes this year as part of a restructuring plan to reduce debt and attract foreign investors.
($1 = 574.8000 CFA francs)