South African Airways (SAA) may be considering buying a stake in Togo’s Asky Airlines now that the West African carrier said it was open to offers by investors seeking a stake, reports from Johannesburg have suggested.
“Any purchase of shares is highly welcome by any individual or organisation,” Bloomberg quoted Asky spokesperson Asalifou Traore as saying.
Sources said this week that SAA was looking at fighting tooth and nail with its fierce competitor Ethiopia Airlines by taking a stake in Asky and relocating it to Accra, confirming earlier reports by Business Day, a Johannesburg-based newspaper.
Ethiopian Airlines opened a hub in Lomé, the capital of Togo via a 40% investment in Asky, Bloomberg reported this week.
SAA, which intially considered opening a hub in Senegal, has dropped those plans to focus instead on Ghana.
“We’re now focusing on Ghana as we operate on the Johannesburg-Accra sector,” spkesperson Tlali Tlali told Bloomberg.
The loss making airline, which constantly depends on the South African government’s bail-outs to continue breathing, is the continent’s largest carrier, despite its aging long haul fleet, which it was struggling to replace.