Bloomberg) — As part of a joint venture with the government of that country, the Ethiopian Airlines Group is willing to provide aircraft, pilots and maintenance services to beleaguered rival South African Airways. Operational assistance is being provided by Africa’s largest airline, said Ethiopian Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam in an interview in Addis Ababa.
He said the carrier would not want to assist with debt repayments or the expense of reducing the workforce.We don’t want to deal with legacy problems, debt, labor claims, and so on, because not only in terms of financial outlay, but also in terms of turnaround management, it is very difficult for us, “said the CEO.” “We want to make it very easy for them, by providing airplanes, experience, pilots, technicians, leadership, to start the airline.”More modern Airbus SE 350s and Boeing Co. 787s could be supported by Ethiopians, he said, compared to SAA’s Airbus 340 aircraft. More modern Airbus SE 350s and Boeing Co. 787s could be supported by Ethiopians, he said, compared to SAA’s Airbus 340 aircraft. More than 10 billion rand ($600 million) is required by South Africa ‘s government to resuscitate an airline that has been in bankruptcy protection since December. For ticket refunds and severance packages, the cash is required in part for nearly 4,000 employees who decided to leave as part of a rescue plan put together by management and sponsored by labor organizations.