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Virgin Nigeria partners with Ethiopian Airlines

August 25, 2009

The two African airlines said the new partnership highlighted the industry’s progress and independence in the continent.

“All along, airlines in Africa did their training in Europe or America. We are going to do our training here because Africa has come of age,” said Dapo Olumide, chief executive officer of Virgin Nigeria. The partnership further separates Virgin Nigeria from British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, which is looking to sell its 49 percent stake in the West African airline.

The agreement officially ends a four-year technical partnership between Virgin Atlantic and the Nigerian airline.

But Virgin Nigeria still carries the Virgin name, despite expectations for the renaming and rebranding of the airline last July. [ID:nL7434520]

Virgin Nigeria in January suspended its loss-making long haul flights to Britain and South Africa in order to focus on its domestic and regional operations within West Africa. (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Randy Fabi; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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