The Gabonese state has acquired a 56% majority stake in privately-owned Afrijet Business Service (J7, Libreville Leon M'Ba), which will not change its name but adopt an additional brand called FlyGabon (Libreville Leon M'Ba), the Central African country's new national carrier, CEO Marc Gaffajoli confirmed to ch-aviation.

This followed an announcement in the Gabonese media by the country's minister of economy and participations, Mays Mouissi, following the official signing of the purchase agreement on March 12 at the presidential palace in Libreville by interim President Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguéma.

"The Gabonese state now owns 56% of Afrijet. Afrijet becomes a national company since the majority of the capital is held by the Gabonese state," Mouissi said. "We will use this company to build, from traffic rights, from its customer base, the new airline, which will be called FlyGabon."

Mouissi said the state would help provide the airline with new aircraft that have already been acquired. FlyGabon would serve domestic and regional destinations beyond Central Africa, he added.

In a statement to local media, Afrijet announced it would "transform its statutes into a limited company with a board of directors and managing director, with governance capitalising on private management principles". It elaborated that the state's investment aimed to support all of Gabon's provinces as provincial airports would be upgraded, more regional services would be added following the acquisition of medium-sized aircraft, and domestic airfares would be lowered for the benefit of the local market.

In an interview with the French-language pan-African weekly Jeune Afrique, Gaffajoli indicated that the first commercial flights under the FlyGabon brand would take off this summer. He also said he would take on the role of chairman of the board, with Nyl Moret-Mba becoming chief executive. Afrijet will continue to operate its 15 existing routes under its own brand while embarking on "a new chapter" under the FlyGabon brand, reviving dormant connections and forging new ones to meet evolving travel needs, he added.

Regarding Gabon's fleet announcement, Gaffajoli said the government had purchased two ATR72-600s for FlyGabon's domestic services. "For medium-haul, all options remain on the table. We will probably start by leasing in ACMI [aircraft]," he said, to ensure the right aircraft/route fit.

Gabon's last national carrier, Gabon Airlines, was founded in 2007 and ceased operations in 2012. Plans to relaunch it in April 2015 proved fruitless. The previous national carrier, Air Gabon, operated from 1977 until its bankruptcy in 2006. However, Oligui revealed in a 2024 New Year message that the government was looking at founding a new national carrier and that work on a feasibility study for the project was continuing. Then, on February 7, the transitional government announced the creation of a new state-owned company called Fly Air Gabon Holding, abbreviated as FLAGH, with which the government said it intended to buy shareholdings in local or foreign carriers.

Founded in Libreville in 2004, Afrijet became a prominent airline in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) zone by 2019. Originally focused on charter flights, it transitioned to a regional scheduled network in October 2016 and achieved IOSA certification in February 2020. With 320 employees across Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé, and Benin, Afrijet currently operates a fleet of seven ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, these include one ATR42-500, two ATR72-500s, and four ATR72-600s.