Friday, August 31, 2012

► GHANA: Egyptair to acquire majority stake in CTK CiTylinK?

Citylink Ghana Unconfirmed reports out of Ghana claim that Egyptian carrier, Egyptair (MS), having allegedly considered "other options" on the Ghanaian scene, are "in talks" to acquire "about a 50% stake" in the struggling Ghanaian domestic operator CTK CiTylinK Airlines (CTQ).

Of late, CiTylinK Airlines has been going through a very rough patch, having first suspended operations in early August before losing its leased Fokker 100 over unpaid leasing charges shortly after.
"Egypt Air will control 50 percent stake in the airline while majority shareholder, Tei Azu and other local investors will own the rest of the shares. Citi Business News also
understands that Egypt Air is poised to see the deal fall through(sic) as it plans to bring in new aircraft and might later consider changing CityLink’s brand name."

Founded in 1994 as CTK Network Aviation specializing in Aerial Photography services, scheduled domestic flights in Ghana were only introduced in September 2003.

Egyptair at Accra's Kotoka Airport
Egyptair at Accra's Kotoka Airport (holliberlin)
In any case, if the reports do indeed turn out to be true, it would not come as any surprise as various African carriers are said to be very keen on entering the very lucrative regional West African market with the most successful thus far being Ethiopian Airlines with its ASKY Airlines operation based out of Lomé, Togo. Fellow competitor South African Airways (SA) has also expressed great interest in setting up a hub in the Ghanaian capital as part of their long term expansion strategy. Today, startup Africa World Airlines' (AW) first Embraer ERJ145 touched down in Accra, itself a joint venture between China's Hainan Airlines, the China-Africa Development Fund, Ghana SAS Financial Group, Ghana Social Security and National Insurance Trust of Ghana.

With the advent of FastJet looming and the rise of Starbow Airlines, a deal with Egyptair may just be the lifeline that CTK CiTylinK needs if it is to remain afloat in the Ghanaian market.