Two United Arab Emirates airlines have held talks with South African Airways, which has said it urgently needs partners to revive its business, City Press reports, citing Mahash Alhameli, the UAE ambassador to South Africa.
Talks between Emirates Airline and SAA, which have been going on for some months, are being facilitated by the UAE’s embassy in Pretoria, Alhameli said. Etihad Airways has also been holding separate negotiations with SAA, he said.
“It’s company-to-company talks,” Alhameli said, according to the newspaper. “As ambassador, I’m facilitating that.”
The UAE plans to invest as much as $10 billion in South Africa’s economy, a commitment made during a visit by the nation’s President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit this month.
While the UAE sees potential to invest in the state-owned power utility, Eskom, those discussions aren’t as advanced as the airline talks, Alhameli said. The UAE is aware of financing needs for SAA and Eskom and talks started before the Gulf nation announced a pledge to invest, he added.
SAA is urgently seeking a strategic equity partner as an answer to its financial problems, spokesman Tlali Tlali said July 10.
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