Air Afrique plan

The principal owners of Ivory Coast-based Air Afrique - 11 national governments, plus Air France - have agreed a partial privatisation plan for the carrier. A successor to former chairman Sir Harry Tirvengadum awaits appointment. The plan would see state involvement in Air Afrique cut from 70% to 22%. A court case has, meanwhile, begun in Paris in which the airline's creditors, led by Credit Lyonnais, are seeking repayment of debts relating to four Airbus A310s.

Guyanan sell-off

A group of Guyanan investors and aircraft operators has been declared the preferred bidder of seven consortia hoping to secure a 51% stake in troubled Guyana Airways. Negotiations with the consortium should start early next month, with a 10% stake in the airline due to be taken up by its employees later. The airline is thought to have debts of $10-$15 million following the grounding of its Boeing 757 last year.

Portugalia reports

Portugal's second largest airline, Portugalia Airlines, has failed to set a date for flotation, despite returning its fourth consecutive pre-tax profit. The carrier, which serves 22 destinations with 12 aircraft, reported pre-tax earnings of Esc1.12 billion ($6.15 million) for 1998.

Indian support

The Indian finance ministry has set near-zero budget support for state-owned Air-India and Indian Airlines for 1999-2000. The nominal awards mean the carriers may be moved towards partial privatisation with no major equity infusion - although the pair's route rights are likely to prove more attractive to airline investors than their aircraft.

Source: Flight International