New Ivory Coast flag carrier set for take-off

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The Ivory Coast's new flag carrier, Air Côte d'Ivoire, has been formed through a partnership between Air France and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.

Under the terms of a framework partnership agreement, an initial capital injection of 2.5 billion CFA francs ($4.87 million) will "rise in the short term to 25 billion CFAF", Air France said in a statement.

The initial capital allocation will be 65% owned by the state of the Ivory Coast, and 35% owned by an airline holding company comprising Air France Finance and Aérienne de Participation-Côte d'Ivoire.

The government's majority holding will subsequently fall to 51% following a capital raising programme, which will place 14% of the company in the hands of private investors.

Air Côte d'Ivoire hopes to start regional flights in July, deploying a pair of Airbus A319s sourced with the assistance of Air France. The airline will replace former flag carrier Air Ivoire, which ceased operations last year.