Lufthansa Consulting has confirmed it is in talks with the Sudanese government over a role in restructuring state-owned Sudan Airways (SD, Khartoum), crippled by more than 20 years of US sanctions.

A delegation from Lufthansa Consulting, an independent subsidiary of Lufthansa Group, will travel to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, in June 2021 for talks with Sudanese authorities, a company representative confirmed to Bloomberg. The consultancy firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ch-aviation.

This comes after EgyptAir Holding in April this year signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sudan Airways for the provision of strategic services to help revitalise the Sudanese national carrier.

The government hopes that Sudan Airways will benefit from the country’s reintegration with the global economy after the end of US sanctions last year. Sudan Airways has just one operational aircraft, A320-200, ST-MKW (msn 3040), which plies its only route between Khartoum and Cairo Int'l, Egypt, according to FlightRadar24 ADS-B data.

At a news conference in Khartoum, Sudanese Transport Minister Mirghani Musa Hamad announced the government, through an advisory team on aviation, had initiated discussions with Lufthansa Consulting “a while ago”. He said the consultants had been approached to provide the government with an independent evaluation of the airline and make recommendations for a business rescue plan that would include expanding the fleet and the airline’s operations. Asked about the cost, he said it would be better to pay the money upfront for the correct analysis and plan than for the airline to struggle going forward without it. Curiously, Hamad made no mention of the MOU with the Egyptians.

Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim confirmed independently that the government was in talks with the Lufthansa subsidiary. “If not through a joint venture, they can help to restructure Sudan Airways so that it can be competitive,” he said but did not detail at what stage discussions were.