Algeria began the process of privatizing its national carrier Air Algerie on Monday, December 18, when a notice was placed in Britain’s Financial Times inviting consultants to submit bids by January 15 for the process of preparing the airline for the eventuality.
The airline’s management would like the consultants to assess the airline’s current situation, and put together a plan for its medium-term strategy, suggest alternative ways in which a sale can proceed, and then recommend a preferred course of action.
Air Algerie was created in 1953, when Compagnie Generale de Transport Aeriens (CGTA), a charter airline by Air France, and Compagnie Air Transport were merged together. The company has been wholly owned by the Algerian government since 1972.
Today, Air Algerie now has almost 9,000 employees and a fleet of 47 aircraft.
Air France is thought to be one of the companies that will bid for the Algerian carrier. Another is Italy’s Alitalia.
The sale of the airline is part of a general privatization campaign being carried out by the Algerian government. Thus far, however, the government has enjoyed little success in attracting foreign investors outside the oil and gas industry. This past June, Algeria was the recipient of a $9 million loan from the World Bank, which was earmarked for the privatization of telecommunications and postal sectors. An additional $5 million was provided for unspecified privatization assistance. – (Albawaba-MEBG)