The Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde GebreMariam has expressed the group’s readiness to partner with Ghana to help rebuild a national airline.
According to him, the plan is part of the group’s agenda to expand its reach in West Africa, by owning a substantial part of the sub-region’s aviation industry.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Mr. GebreMariam stated that it is time for Africa to increase its stake of 3 percent control in the aviation industry.
Recounting the good days of the defunct Ghana Airways, Mr. GebreMariam said that Ghana used to lead in the sub region with its national carrier flying to Europe and America.
“Ghana Airways used to be a very successful airline about 32 years ago when Ethiopian Airlines was also operating successfully. We knew Ghana Airways was doing a good job, flying to New York and to London and so on. Unfortunately, towards the end it was having problems and so was closed. This is really a very serious concern to Africans because we want to see African countries having their national carriers,” he said.
He stated that with the commercial value of the aviation industry, it is important for West African countries to participate in the industry to increase Africa’s share of about 3 percent.
Countries like Ghana, Nigeria should have very strong national carriers. Ethiopian Airlines is really trying to help in that endeavor. I am sure you know that some seven years ago in 2010, We came and we established an airline in Togo called Asky Airlines, Asky means African Sky. It is meant to serve the sub regional community here, the ECOWAS community and Central Africa.
He maintained that Ethiopian Airlines has always demonstrated its readiness to invest in West African aviation industry.