Africa's airline graveyard piles up: Senegal shuts down national carrier amid $110 million debt

Despite the failure, Finance minister says steps are being taken to set up a new national airline

SENEGAL has withdrawn the operating license of its national carrier Senegal Airlines, which has accumulated 65 billion CFA francs ($110 million) in debt and no longer owns any planes. 

The airline “has never been able to achieve its goals” since its creation in 2009, according to a statement from the Transport Ministry. 

Though Africa has over the years seen a record number of state-owned airlines fail, steps are being taken to set up a new national carrier, Finance Minister Amadou Ba said Monday.  Senegal Airlines was an initiative of the son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, who served as transport minister at the time. 

Senegal held about 35% while private investors owned the rest. Wade’s son, Karim, was sentenced to six years in prison last year for embezzlement during his time in office.

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