Cape Verde’s national carrier is the subject of a takeover bid from Icelandair with the aim of developing the islands as a tourist destination and airline hub.
Cabo Verde Airlines has received a bid for 51% of its shares from Loftleidir Icelandic, Icelandair’s charter arm, and a group of Icelandic investors. The consortium plans to build the islands’ international airport as a hub for connecting flights as well as develop tourism.
Loftleidir Icelandic managing director Árni Hermannsson told media the deal anticipated “the expected growth in passenger demand in Africa in the coming years”.
“We have already participated in the restructuring of the company, and Cabo Verde Airlines’ operations are well suited to Loftleidir Icelandic’s projects around the world,” he said.
The deal will provide “further opportunities” to use aircraft and crews from Icelandair Group’s fleet. The carrier already serves routes in Europe and Brazil including Boston, Paris and Salvador.
“The island’s location is ideal for developing connecting flights,” Hermannsson said. “We have opportunities for well-organized connecting routes between Europe and South America on one hand, and West Africa and North America on the other, along with West Africa and Europe.”
The Cape Verde government plans to sell the remaining 49% of the airline’s shares to other investors as part of the privatisation process.
The Icelandair Group is in acquisitive mode, having bought rival WOW Air at the start of the month.