Chad will launch a new airline, Tchadia Airline after signing a deal with Ethiopia Airlines. The inaugural flight is planned for October 1.
The head of Chad’s Civil Aviation Authority, Mahamat Adjam said government will have 51 per cent of the new company, while Ethiopian Airlines will own the rest.
“The inaugural flight is planned for October 1 but the first destination has yet to be determined,” he said, adding the carrier would start off with a fleet of two Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes.
“It (the airline) will serve the four main cities in Chad and traffic to neighbouring countries,” Adjam said.
In 2012, Chadian authorities suspended international flights operated by state carrier Toumai Air after an investigation revealed serious safety problems.
The carrier operated flights to regional destinations including neighbouring Cameroon, Gabon and Ivory Coast. It also operated seasonal routes to Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
Ethiopia’s state-owned flag carrier is also in talks with a number of African states to acquire stakes and manage operations – a strategy aimed at gaining a competitive advantage against rivals such as those in the Gulf.
Ethiopia airline is ranked by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as the largest carrier in Africa by revenue and profit, outpacing regional competitors Kenya Airways and South African Airways.
The company has been in talks with Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea to set up carriers through joint ventures, and also aims to create a new airline in Mozambique that it will fully own.
Ethiopian Airlines is being speculated to be the frontrunner to set up and manage a new national carrier for Nigeria and has signed an agreement with the Zambian government to relaunch Zambia’s flag carrier at an initial cost of $30 million.
Last month, Ethiopian Airlines announced that net profit in the 2017/18 financial year rose to $233 million from $229 million the previous year.
The airline’s operating revenue rose by 43 percent to $3.7 billion in the 2017/18 financial year.