Ethiopian Airlines wins bid to partner Air Malawi

The Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) , formerly the Privatisation Commission (PC), has announced that Ethiopian Airlines is the preferred bidder to be the strategic partner of Air Malawi (2012) Limited.

The airline beat Fly Africa of South Africa and Botswana’s Global Business Network, based on its global experience and competitiveness, according to PPPC chief executive officer Jimmy Lipunga.

“The selection has been largely influenced by its global experience and competitiveness,” said Lipunga.

Lipunga said the viability of the restructured Air Malawi will be greatly enhanced through strategic partnership with a global player.

Lipunga: Ethiopian Airlines to partner Air Malawi
Lipunga: Ethiopian Airlines to partner Air Malawi

“Air Malawi (2012) Limited will gain more traffic through international route linkages,” Lipunga told a news conference.

Lipunga , who was flanked by the airline’s liquidator Lekani Katandula and a legal adviser to the liquidator Gauton Kainja, said Ethiopian Airline bid was most “responsive to the declared objective of recapitalisation scheme.”

Ethiopian Airlines will take up 49 percent equity and the PPPC chief said the airline has indicated that it wants the Malawi Government to hold 20 percent shareholding.

The remaining stake will be taken up by Malawian investors who can either be individuals or institutions.

The strategic equity partner (SEP) is expected to recapitalise the new investment vehicle based on a new and viable business operational model and the level of participation.

Currently, Air Malawi has grounded all its two flights, ATR 42 and the leased Boeing 737 200.

ATR 42 was grounded last December due to safety concerns, according to liquidator Lekani Katandula, but was worked on and is now ready for service after the company’s engineer worked on it. The aircraft is now packed at Chileka Airport hangar.

The Boeing 737 200 flights were suspended indefinitely on Wednesday.

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