Cape Verde to renationalise its airline

24 June 2021 | Economics

Cape Verde's government said Monday that it is taking over the national airline over concerns for its future, after selling a majority stake in 2019.

Speaking on national television, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva said the government would "initiate a process" to regain control of Cabo Verde Airlines from Icelandic Airlines.

Cape Verde sold a 51% stake in the airline to the Icelandic carrier two years ago. The government retained 39%, and employees 10%.

A tiny archipelago of 550 000 people lying around 600 kilometres off the coast of Senegal, Cape Verde relies heavily on tourism to drive its economy.

The Cabo Verde Airlines' fleet has been grounded since March last year, however, because of coronavirus-related restrictions.

The prime minister said the government wanted to renationalise the carrier because Icelandic Airlines had "not demonstrated the ability to guarantee the sustainability and continuity of the company's operations".

"We are still in favour of protecting the national interest," he added, pointing to the future of the company's 300 employees. The premier won an election in Cape Verde in April on promises to revive the country's virus-battered economy. - Nampa/Reuters

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