Tuesday, April 30, 2013

► ETHIOPIA: National Airways eyes Fokker 50s, Embraer ERJ170s for future ops.

National Airways logoEthiopia's National Airways (7N) is planning to add several Fokker 50s and to acquire Embraer ERJ-170s in the near future as the airline looks to expand beyond its current operations that are limited to helicopter charter flights, ad-hoc charter ops and a single scheduled weekly flight to Hargeisa (Somaliland) set to be extended to Djibouti.

National Airways' air ambulance service
National Airways' air ambulance service
The airline is making the move in likely preparation for the planned liberalization of Ethiopia's domestic skies. Earlier this year, Ethiopian Minister of Transport, Diriba Kuma said his ministry was in the process of preparing a finalized draft bill for the proposed liberalization of air transport. 

The new draft is said to be a modified version of the June 2012 draft air transport policy which proposed to remove the prohibition on private airlines operating aircraft with more than 20 seats, as well as to allow foreign shareholders to invest in the Ethiopian aviation sector, albeit with a maximum 40% shareholding cap. At present, the aviation sector is restricted to Ethiopian nationals only.