Chad’s Tchadia Airlines has been placed into liquidation after recording financial losses for 3 consecutive years. This move has left the Central African country without a national carrier.
The decision to liquidate followed last month’s general assembly of shareholders, where it was established that the airline had no prospects for financial recovery, especially in light of the economic realities of the pandemic.
Long before Tchadia Airlines, Toumai Air served as Chad’s national carrier. However, after 8 years of operation, the Chadian government suspended its operations after major safety concerns were identified in an investigation.
Tchadia Airlines’ existence was even more short-lived.
Tchadia Airlines in Review
The airline was founded in 2018 in a joint effort by the Chadian government and Africa’s heavyweight, Ethiopian Airlines which owned a 49% stake in the airline. It operated its first set of flights from its headquarters in N’Djamena on October 1 that year.
Tchadia Airlines had a fleet of just 2 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft which were used to operate 10 destinations, 5 of them being local and the rest being in Central African Republic, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Sudan. Before the liquidation, there were plans to add Boeing 737 aircraft to its fleet.
The closure of the carrier will have a significant adverse impact on the local community and businesses as it was the sole operator on many of its routes.
On its route to Douala, Cameroon, Tchadia Airlines has yielded competition over to Air Cote d’Ivoire, ASKY Airlines and CEIBA Intercontinental. As for its routes to Kano, Nigeria and Khartoum, Sudan, Sudan Airways will now solely serve them without competition.
Partnership with Ethiopia Airlines
In recent years, Ethiopian Airlines – said to be the number one airline in Africa – has ventured into setting up carriers in other African countries in what is dubbed the “Vision 2025 multiple hub strategy”.
Speaking at the launch of Tchadia Airlines in 2018, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines group Tewolde GebreMariam shared,
"The strategic equity partnership in the launching of the new Chad national carrier is part of our Vision 2025 multiple hub strategy in Africa. The new Chad national carrier will serve as a strong hub in Central Africa availing domestic, regional and eventually international air connectivity to the major destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.”
Unfortunately, the Tchadia Airlines venture was not successful as GebreMariam had anticipated. Its failure mirrored that of Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines which was also founded in 2018, but ceased operations in May 2021.
Currently, Ethiopian Airlines’ active partners are ASKY Airlines, Zambia Airways and Malawi Airlines. Before the pandemic, the airline was also in talks with Equatorial Guinea, Guinea and Djibouti to establish more local carriers through joint ventures.
Source: Simple Flying