Tuesday, April 9, 2013

► SOUTH SUDAN: Turkey's AtlasJet pulls out of South Sudanese joint venture.

Atlasjet (KK) has announced it is to abandon plans to set up a joint national carrier with the Government of South Sudan. The Turkish carrier originally won a tender in January for a 49% stake in the airline which the Government hopes, will boost its regional presence as well as safety.

Juba International Airport, South Sudan
Juba International Airport
According to ch-aviation, Atlasjet will now primarily focus on the launch of its Iraqi subsidiary Zagros Air, in whom it holds a 50% shareholding, as well as developing its home market in Turkey. 

The departure of Atlasjet currently leaves the country's hopes pinned to South Supreme Airlines, a local startup founded by a group of South Sudanese businessmen headed by local tycoon, Ayii Duang Ayii, which will use an Antonov An-26 (MSN 37313310) to launch both domestic and regional operations.

In January, South Sudanese Vice President, Riek Machar stated that Juba's ambition was to develop the country's very weak infrastructure with the long term goal of trasforming the country into an international hub. A plan is said to be "underway" to build one of the world’s biggest airports in Tali in Central Equatoria state to serve the proposed new capital city, Ramciel, in the country's Lakes state.