- Members of the management of Gold Coast Aviation, a South African-based airliner, who have proposed to take over the operations of the Sierra National Airlines (SNA), have held discussions with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in Freetown. The South Africans presented their plans for a new airliner, including its routes.
According to a release by the presidency of Sierra Leone, President Kabbah yesterday discussed the possible privatisation of Sierra National Airlines (SNA) with a delegation of Gold Coast Aviation. The little-known company, which was founded in Ghana, is headquartered in South Africa but focuses on West African operations.
The delegation included the leadership of Fair Aviation of South Africa, another little-known company, and of the Gold Coast Travel and Tours of Ghana. The business leaders told President Kabbah that they were in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital, "to put final touches to their proposal." They were seeking the approval of the National Commission for Privatisation, and intended to start operations on 19 November.
Fred Brons of Fair Aviation explained that the South African company intend to operate two aircrafts, a DC9 on the principal West African routes: Freetown - Liberia - Accra - Abidjan. The aircraft was also to be used on a six days-a-week fight between Freetown and Johannesburg, South Africa.
The second aircraft, which is a Boeing 767, was to fly the European route: Freetown-London direct, with connections to other cities in Europe. Mr Brons said the company also intend later on to commence flights to Dubai with connections through Banjul (The Gambia) and Conakry (Guinea).
The Acting Managing Director of Sierra National Airlines, Ahmed Wurie, said the foreign aviation team was in Freetown basically to hold discussions with the management of SNA and to see how they can work out a commercial partnership and relationship, according to the government statement.
Mr Wurie was further quoted as saying that the companies had already concluded discussions. They had further already reached an agreement that Gold Coat Aviation was to take over the operations of Sierra Leone's national airliner, and that they are now only waiting for approval from the National Commission for Privatisation to start operations.
The Chairman of the Privatisation Commission, A. Turay had confirmed that the South African company's proposal had "potentials" and that his agency was currently "looking at it and working out the modalities to develop a company in concert with the SNA," according to the Freetown government.
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