[DAKAR] Senegal plans to launch a new national airline to replace loss-making Senegal Airlines, which had its air operator's certificate revoked last month amid mounting debts, finance minister Amadou Ba said on Monday.
"Senegal has initiated the creation process of a new airline", he said at a news conference with his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, in Dakar.
"In the coming days, we should have a new airline."
Mr Ba gave no further details, but recent history suggests that a new Senegal carrier would face significant challenges in the face of increased international competition that has squeezed a number of African airlines in recent years.
Senegal Airlines was founded in 2009 as a joint venture between a grouping of private sector investors, which held a majority stake of 64 per cent, and the Senegalese state, which owned the remainder.
However, it accumulated debts that by last year amounted to an estimated 45 billion CFA francs (S$105.2 million).
Last month Cape Verde's national airline said that it planned to cut nearly a quarter of its staff and review flight routes this year as part of a restructuring plan to reduce debt and attract foreign investors.