BUJUMBURA, 1 January 2021 – The government of Burundi says it will relaunch a state-owned airline company in the course of the new year 2021.
Burundi will hold an overwhelming majority of the shares in the venture: 92 percent.
A Belgian company has said it will take a minority share – 4 perent – in the air transport company whose precise launch date remains unknown.
The rest of the shares will be taken up by another state-owned insurance company, SOCABU, and SOBUGEA, the agency which runs Burundi’s airports.
Burundi Airline, as the airliner will be known, is being contemplated more than 10 years since an earlier state-owned project known as Air Burundi went under.
Air Burundi failed to win a big enough share of the air transport market in the sub-region and could not return the profit such a business needs in order to stay afloat.
The new airline venture will launch in a more competitive environment with all of Burundi’s neighbors running relatively high-performing airline companies.
Kenyan Airways and Ethiopian Airlines are the giants in the skies of East Africa and the Great Horn of Africa sub-region.
The success of relative newcomers, like Rwanda with the state-owned RwandaAir for example, means Burundi will be entering not only an increasingly crowded marketplace, but one in which inefficiency spells doom for ventures.
Neighboring Uganda and Tanzania recently launched or revamped their airline ventures.
Ugandan Airlines, another state-owned venture by Kampala, has been revamped and has taken to the skies again.
Tanzania recently introduced travelers to Air Tanzania Co.