Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, has announced that it has become the strategic partner of the new Malawian Air with 49% equity shareholding. The remaining 51% of the shares will be held by the Malawian Government and Malawian private investors.
The shareholder agreement for Malawi Airlines was signed between Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Government of the Republic of Malawi and Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian in Lilongwe on Thursday, 11 July 2013.
The Airlines in its press statement on Saturday said the new partnership with Malawi Airlines is part of Ethiopian Vision 2025 strategic roadmap of setting up multiple hubs in Africa. Thru this strategic partnership with Malawian Air, Lilongwe will become Ethiopian third hub on the continent after its main hub in Addis Ababa and its West Africa in Lomé.
"This new agreement we have just signed with the Government of Malawi is a model for the type of African cooperation that is needed in the 21st century. It is a win-win partnership aimed at enabling the success of African aviation in a capital intensive, skill-driven and highly competitive industry," said Tewolde.
The strategic partnership will help Ethiopian and the newly formed Malawi Airlines to harmonize their flight schedules so as to provide seamless and best connectivity options for travelers within, to and from the Southern Africa region, he said.
"Today, Africa is booming and, with the economic growth of our continent, demand for air travel is also growing at a much faster pace than the global average. This growing demand and the uneven competition from foreign carriers, which currently dominate the African market, cannot be overcome by one single African airline. For indigenous African airlines to succeed and get their fair share of the market, partnerships between African airlines are a must," the CEO stated.
As per its Vision 2025 multiple hubs strategy in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines aims to set up hubs in all regions of the continent and to become the leading aviation group in Africa generating 10 billion dollars in annual revenue by 2025.