Ethiopian Airlines, the flag carrier and the largest carrier in Africa wholly owned by the country’s government have proposed to become a partner with Nepalese National flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC).
According to the source, Asfaw Dingamo Kam, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Nepal met with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Minister Rabindra Adhikari in Kathmandu and had officially proposed to form a strategic alliance with NAC, last week.
Ambassador Kame also met the Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and discussed other possible areas of cooperation between Nepal and Ethiopia which includes forming a bilateral consultative mechanism and carrying out a parliamentary exchange programme.
The Government of Nepal presently is seeking a strategic partner for stated owned flag carrier NAC that will help to take it forward. MoCTCA Minister Adhikari earlier had told Parliament that the national flag carrier needed to be vamp up and that the ministry was scouting for an appropriate foreign strategic partner.
Ambassador Kame told the Post that a detailed proposal from Ethiopian Airlines would arrive soon. “We need to sign an air service agreement first to form a partnership to invest in Nepal Airlines. We can also start with a codeshare agreement.”
Since Nepal and Ethiopia established diplomatic relations in 1964, the two countries have offered very little to each other. The pace of bilateral relations gained momentum after Ethiopia appointed an honorary consul in Nepal in 2015, he said.
Ethiopia has urged Nepal to open a residential mission in the capital Addis Ababa which also hosts the Secretariat of the African Union.
Ethiopian Airlines presently owns a fleet of 108 aircraft and serves 125 international and domestic destinations. It wants to join forces with NAC as part of its bid to establish multiple hubs beyond the African continent.