Staff, 2022-12-25 09:01:09,
When the Kenyan delegation led by President William Ruto met with officials of Delta Airlines in Washington to discuss a proposal on the sale of national carrier Kenya Airways, a familiar figure sat with the Americans. Tewolde Gebremariam, the man credited with the success story of Africa’s biggest carrier Ethiopian Airlines, sat across the table.
No one at that meeting understands African aviation more than Mr Tewolde, who was the Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines for 11 years until March this year, when he suddenly retired for “health reasons.”
The Ethiopian is a senior strategy adviser for Delta and will be crucial in making or breaking the deal under discussion between the two airlines, whose outcome will come down to the transaction advisers.
Mr Tewolde, who Delta will be looking up to in the negotiations, buried KQ’s hopes of dominating the African skies, with the latest African Airlines Association data showing that in 2021 ET carried 7,053,000 million, against Kenya Airways’ 1,489,000.
Dr Ruto, when he met the Delta team in Washington DC on the side-lines of the US-Africa Leaders Summit, expressed his desire to sell off the ailing carrier, which posted a half-year loss of about $80 million.
“I’m willing to sell the whole of Kenya Airways,” Dr Ruto said. “I’m not in the business of running an airline that just has a Kenyan flag — that’s not my business.”
Kenya Airways CEO Kilavuka was…
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