Ethiopia Airlines to Buy 20% Eritrean Carrier Stake, Agency Says

(Bloomberg) -- Ethiopia’s national airline will take a 20 percent stake in Eritrean Airlines, the state-owned Ethiopian Press Agency reported​, citing unidentified Eritrean media.

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise, Africa’s biggest carrier by revenue, will also resume flights next week to Asmara, the capital of neighboring Eritrea, the ruling party-funded Fana Broadcasting Corp. reported earlier, after the two countries made a historic agreement to end a state of war and rebuild economic ties.

Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam and Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment on the report.

The renewed service comes after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s weekend visit to Eritrea, where he and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki pledged cooperation in political, economic and security matters, easing relations that have been fraught for almost two decades.

Landlocked Ethiopia will also resume using Eritrea’s ports, which have been closed to it since Eritrea won independence in the early 1990s, and telecommunications links and embassies are being reestablished. The two countries had been at loggerheads since the end of a two-year border war in 2000 that claimed as many as 100,000 lives and left thousands of Ethiopian and Eritrean families divided.

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