Panafrican News Agency

American group to take over Air Burkina

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - The Burkinabe government and an American Group, African Global Development, are putting final touches to a final agreement under which the American firm, specialized in aeronautics, will acquire the Burkinabe national airline, Air Burkina.

Following this development, the Burkinabe Prime Minister, Christophe Joseph Marie Dabiré, on Tuesday met with a delegation of the American Group, PANA learned on Wednesday from official sources.

Under the acquisition, about 250 billion FCFA will be added to the capital base of the company to strengthen its fleet, the Prime Minister's Office declared.

According to the president of the Group, Phil Smartt, the process of taking over the company is underway, after the signing of the acquisition agreement, the legal process will be initiated and this will last about two months.

At the end of this stage, new aircraft will be added to the Air Burkina fleet, which will be transformed from a state-owned to a private company by January 1, 2021.

"From that moment on, we will be able to implement everything we have taken as decisions, everything we have put in our action plan," Smartt said.

"We are in the process of rolling out the government's plan for the revival of Air Burkina," according to the Burkinabe Minister of Transport, Vincent Dabilgou.

He said under President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, "Air Burkina is seen as a national airline that represents our heritage, our standard-bearer, in the sub-region, but also in the world.

In the Minister's view, the objective is to work to consolidate the company's foundations.

To that end, the government has developed a two-level plan.

The first step is to stabilize Air Burkina and ensure that its leadership is maintained in the African subregion.

"This is what we have done by leasing three aircraft (Embraers)," explained Dabilgou.

For the second phase, the minister said the aim is to revive the company in order to conquer the world.

And to achieve this objective, it is necessary to find a partner who not only has substantial financial resources but also has the technology and know how in civil aviation.

The Minister announced that with this takeover, Air Burkina's fleet will be reinforced by Airbus and ATRs, to enable the company to operate more flights, especially to Europe.

"In addition, the recovery plan of the national airline will enable our country to have an aviation training centre that will help train young pilots and ground mechanics.