SA Express looks to partner with west African airline

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SA Express is looking to begin a partnership with a west African airline through an equity purchase, according to its chief executive Inati Ntshanga.

Speaking at Embraer's Airline Business Seminar in Maputo, he said the South African Airways subsidiary is talking to other airlines about purchasing a share of their businesses. He would not say which airlines SA Express is looking at, but said he expects a deal to be in place by spring 2013.

Ntshanga said that in addition to the partnership, SA Express is looking to increase its level of cooperation with other African carriers - potentially including the opening of a new base in west Africa. He added that the airline would like to be in every African capital in the next few years.

His comments come after pan-African startup Fastjet confirmed that it is in talks with Emirates Airline over a possible future partnership, as well as negotiating a possible buyout of South Africa's 1time Airline.