Business News of Fri, 17 Feb 201718

New National Airline: Air France-KLM hints at future partnership

Jean-Marc-Janaillac, Air France-KLM Chairman and CEO, say the European-based airline group is open to partnering government in its quest to establish a viable national carrier.

Ghana is seeking to establish a new national airline after the collapse of her flag carrier, Ghana Airways, a decade ago and the failure of Ghana International Airlines (GIA)—a public-private initiative half a decade ago.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) has since been published inviting interested airlines, with the requisite financial strength and a global network, to indicate same.

Mr. Jean-Marc-Janaillac, responding to a question by the B&FT about partnering the Ghanaian government in this endeavour said: “We can have co-operation with other national airlines. We can codeshare so they can fly from their main terminals in their countries to other smaller cities. Things are changing very fast and in the future, there can be some partnership.”

The airline group, which has a partnership with Kenya Airways and Air Cote d’Ivoire, is keen on expanding its African operations with strategic partnerships.

Air France is the latest to announce plans to operate three weekly flights between Accra, Ghana and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, France starting on February 28, 2017. The flights will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

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These flights will be operated by an Airbus A330 with a capacity of 208 seats until March 27, 2017, and then by a Boeing 777-200 with 312 seats and equipped with the latest new Air France travel cabins for the entire summer season.

Mr. Jean-Marc-Janaillac, who is also the Chairman of Air France, said: “We are doing a new flight to Accra at the end of this month. I will be in Accra and Senegal to see how we can expand. We have two partners in Africa, Air Cote d”Ivoire in the West and Kenya Airways in the East. We also have a lot of links to Africa. Air France-KLM was the first airline link Africa to Europe.

But we want to develop our flights within Africa through our two partners-Kenya Airways and Air Cote d’Ivoire. Africa is a key asset to our group and we intend to develop out links to Africa and within Africa with our partners.”

Air France, headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, is a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance. The imminent entry of Air France into Ghana’s aviation space is expected to deepen competition and diversity in one of the fast-growing economic sectors in the country.

Air France’s hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, in the heart of Europe, is a genuine gateway to the rest of the world from Africa. About 6,500 Air France staff work at the facility, serving about 100,000 passengers every day and 25,000 weekly connecting passengers.

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