Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will only provide operational assistance in the range of aircraft, pilots and maintenance services to troubled South African Airways (SAA) as part of a joint venture with South Africa’s government.
According to Ethiopian Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam, the airline will not help with debt repayments or the cost of reducing the workforce, adding that they only want to make it very easy for them to start the airline by providing aeroplanes, expertise, pilots, technicians, and leadership.
Ethiopian will provide more modern Airbus SE 350s and Boeing Co. 787s, he said, in comparison with SAA’s Airbus 340 planes.
A rescue plan by the government and labour groups says that South African Airways needs to raise 10 billion rands ($595 million). 2.8 billion rands will be used to bring back its planes to the sky while 3 billion rands will go to ticket refunds. 1.7 billion rands will pay plane leasing companies while 2.2 billion rands will finance voluntary packages as the airline cuts its staff from 4,800 to 1,000.
South African Airways last made a profit in 2011.