The government of Djibouti has selected Welsh-based aircraft services and MRO provider, Cardiff Aviation, to partner its planned new national carrier, Air Djibouti (Djibouti). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed last week between the two parties with chairman Aboubaker Omar Hadi acting on Air Djibouti's behalf and chairman Bruce Dickinson, acting on Cardiff Aviation's behalf.

Under the agreement, Cardiff Aviation will secure and manage a European-level Air Operators Certificate (AOC) for Air Djibouti. It will also source aircraft, and provide operational management from its Twin Peaks facilities at St. Athan - Cardiff Airport Aerospace Enterprise Zone.

In order to leverage the country's ideal location within the Horn of Africa and its stable, fast growing economy, Air Djibouti will initially focus on the freight sector with aircraft already secured for this stage of development. Thereafter, it will branch into the passenger transport market offering regional services.

"Djibouti is uniquely placed to provide a hub for investment from Europe, the Middle East and Asia into Africa," said Dickinson, who is also the front-man for the world's second most important heavy-metal band, Iron Maiden. "By providing full airline support and project implementation to Air Djibouti, Cardiff Aviation will bring a wealth of industry expertise and capability to one of the most exciting aviation markets in the world to spearhead growth in a region with tremendous potential."