The airline Air Côte d’Ivoire becomes reality

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16-May-2012 The State of the Ivory Coast represented by the Minister of Economy and Finance and the Strategic Partner made up of the Air France group and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), the economic development agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today signed the Framework Partnership Agreement, the Shareholders’ Agreement and Articles of the airline Air Côte d’Ivoire, in the presence of state officials, representatives of Air France and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) / IPS (WA).

The initial capital was set at CFAF 2.5 billion and will rise in the short term to 25 billion CFAF. The fully paid initial capital is 65% owned by the State of the Ivory Coast and 35% by the Strategic Partner made up of Air France Finance (20%) and Aérienne de Participation-Côte d’Ivoire (15%), the airline holding company covered by Ivorian law and representing the AKFED.

General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the creation of the new airline, who was very moved during the signature ceremony, made the following declaration:

“The President of the Republic His Excellency Dr. Alassane Ouattara has informed me a few months ago that the Ivorian people are eagerly awaiting the setting up of this airline. It was born today, May 15, 2012 thanks to the will of the Ivorian authorities and our partnership with the Air France and AKFED groups. I am delighted and I think that thanks to Air Côte d’Ivoire, our country will regain its place as an airline in West Africa. I remain convinced that we have just created a viable and sustainable airline, and that especially at the outset, we will benefit from cooperation with Air Burkina and Air Mali from the AKFED Group, our partner.”

“This is a great moment for the Strategic Partner made up of Air France and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, as the highly-awaited implementation of this project by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian government and people is now a reality. This project will transport passengers and goods in West and Central Africa and within the country and will develop technical, commercial and operational synergies with the airlines of the AKFED Group, Air Burkina and Air Mali, commented Mr. Pierre Descazeaux, SVP Middle East and Africa at Air France and Mr. Ferid Nandjee, Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in the Ivory Coast. Moreover, these three airlines will cooperate very close together, in order to build an economically viable long-term model.”

“In recent months, declared René Décurey, the airline’s CEO, the Company’s management team has worked hard and made all the arrangements – including technical, material and in terms of human resources – to set up effective operation of the company with the priority launch of regional routes in July followed by the end of 2012 by domestic routes.”

“The recruitment of staff required for the launch of the company, continued Mr. Décurey, was carried out via the press. Regarding cabin crew, Mr. Patrice Kone, Deputy General Manager in charge of operations, stated that “rigorous selection tests with interviews, personality and physical fitness tests are underway to recruit thirteen flight captains, twelve first officers and thirty-seven cabin crew.”