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Cameroon revives its national airline, Camair Co.

After several years of turmoil, Cameroon’s national carrier has embarked on a recovery plan at an estimated 91.5 million euros over the next 5 years.

Yaounde, April 5 (Reuters) – Nearly a year after selecting a consortium led by Belgium’s SN Brussels to buy a majority stake in struggling national airline, Cameroon’s government abandoned the sale on Thursday and said it would relaunch the tender.

The government said last June it had chosen First Delta Air Services, a consortium comprising SN Brussels and a Cameroonian venture capital fund, to create a new carrier, Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co), to replace state-run Cameroon Airlines, also known as Camair.

But far from being finalised within 10 days as then announced, completion of the deal dragged, leading to speculation the government may seek an alliance with a different investor.

“The government has decided to declare the international tender to select a strategic partner to launch the activities of the new national air transport company — Camair Co. — fruitless,” Finance and Economy Minister Polycarpe Abah Abah said in a statement on Thursday.

“Steps will be taken to relaunch the process to recruit a new strategic partner through a new international tender which will be issued very soon,” he said.

Independent local daily Mutations reported in December that the government was considering a rival bid from U.S. carrier United Airlines, owned by UAL Corp UAUA.O.

Government officials and staff at the US embassy in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde have declined comment on the UAL reports.

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