Founded in February 1946, Sudan Airways is the national carrier of Sudan and one of the oldest airlines based on the African continent. Having been established following the Second World War, the Sudanese carrier grew to impressive heights with a fleet of Airbus A300s and Boeing 737s and 707s. Fast forward to the 21ST century, the carrier no longer reprises its former status, having suffered from a combination of US sanctions and flight bans from Europe.
In 2018 the carrier was reported to be struggling to maintain operations as it faced wide staff cuts and difficulties maintaining its fleet of 14 aircraft. The airline was forced to lease aircraft from neighboring airlines after grounding 12 of its aircraft.
However, following the lifting of sanctions in 2017, discussions over the carrier’s return to operations have gained momentum and attention, alongside Sudan’s reintegration with the global economy. Recent reports have now revealed that Sudan’s government is in discussion with Lufthansa Consulting over the possibility of Lufthansa’s (LHAB) (LHA) consulting arm playing a role in resurrecting the airline.
According to a Bloomberg report, a representative for the company reported that a delegation from Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s independent subsidiary Lufthansa Consulting will travel to Sudan’s capital in June 2021 to continue talks with Sudanese authorities. No exact details on the outcome for the airline were revealed but a possible joint partnership between the two entities could be on the table to help the airline reenter operations with a competitive model.
“If not through a joint venture, they can help to restructure Sudan Airways so that it can be competitive,” said Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim in an interview.
Prior to the news of the carrier’s revival, Sudan Airways signed a strategic partnership with EgyptAir to augment trade exchange and bilateral relations between Egypt and Sudan and facilitate a channel for aviation training and a transfer of expertise from Egyptian staff to the Sudanese personnel.
The partnership with Egyptair will cover pilot and inflight cabin crew training, as well as participating in modernizing Sudan Airways fleet of aircraft, which today consists of one operation Airbus A320-200 obtained in 2016, and formerly operated by Comoro Islands Airline. In late January 2017, reports suggested that as many as 14 aircraft could be supplied from Saudi Arabia as part of a deal between Sudanese President Omar al Bashir and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. The aircraft fleet would include three Boeing 777s, three Airbus A320-200s, six Embraer Regional Jets, and two Airbus A330-200s.