Sao Tome government searches for partners for STP Airways

22 September 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 22 Sept – The Sao Tome and Principe government plans to start negotiations with potential partners for the country’s new airline, the recently created STP Airways, the Public Works minister said.

Delfim Neves told Sao Tome newspaper Tela Non that some international airlines interested in taking a stake in the new airline, which replaces Air Sao tome, had already been contacted

“We are going to set out the possibility of selling some shares to other private companies, under well-defined rules because we don’t want to run the risk that we had with Air Sao Tome and which culminated recently with Air Luxor. These are bad examples and because of that we have to be cautious before accepting new shareholders,” he said.

After the closure of Air Sao Tome, which was 40 percent owned by Portugal’s TAP, following an accident that destroyed the airline’s only airplane, now Air Luxor has stopped flying to the archipelago due to financial difficulties.

Therefore, the minister said, STP Airways would make a flight to Lisbon a priority amongst around 30 international routes that the country is authorised to run.

Neves added that the long term aim was for STP Airways to run at least a third of all the country’s international flights, or around 10 routes.

The new company’s statutes have already been approved by the Council of Ministers and a commission has been established, which will be responsible for launching the company until a board of directors takes over.

Negotiations with potential partners will begin as soon as the company’s statutes are published, which is due to happen this week, the minister said. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH