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Wednesday, 8 May, 2002, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Air Mali strikes Egyptian alliance
Air Mali logo
Air Mali enters the west African airline dogfight
The Egyptian airline AMC Aviation has bought a 49% stake in Air Mali, giving the African carrier the capacity to expand into the lucrative west African market.

Air Mali expects turnover to rise more than tenfold in 2002, to a record 21bn CFA francs (19.8m), through an expansion of its African routes.


We are soon going to open up routes to Jeddah and Dubai. In the sub-region we are already starting to build-up our routes to Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Lome (Togo)

Amadou Kante
Managing Director Air Mali
"As Egypt's second-biggest airline after Egypt-Air, AMC has lots of experience and planes," Air Mali's Managing Director Amadou Kante told the Reuters news agency.

"It brings us technical expertise and professionalism and has given us the use of three planes."

A number of airlines, including Uganda's AfricaOne, Brussels Airlines and Libya's Afriqiyah Airways have expanded their African services.

Many African destinations have been poorly served since carriers cut capacity and routes after the 11 September attacks and following the collapse of Belgium's airline Sabena and francophone Africa's Air Afrique.

Egyptian alliance

"Air Mali was searching for a strategic partner on the wishes of the government and shareholders," Mr Kante said.

The west African carrier ran joint flights to Paris with Cameroon Airlines last year in a brief but unsuccessful partnership before signing a co-operation deal with AMC late in 2001.

The remaining 51% share of Air Mali is held by a number of parties, including the Malian government, Air Afrique - which is still in liquidation - and private shareholders in Mali.

"We are soon going to open up routes to Jeddah and Dubai. In the sub-region we are already starting to build-up our routes to Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Lome (Togo)," Mr Kante said.

AMC began life as an aircraft maintenance company and started flights in 1992.

It was granted a license to operate domestic flights in Egypt, becoming the second airline after Egypt Air, in late 2000.

See also:

02 May 02 | Business
Libya enters Africa airline dogfight
29 Apr 02 | Business
Pan-African airline takes off
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