Guinea Airlines (Conakry) has revised its choice of technical partner ahead of a proposed June 2018 launch. According to Guinée news, the start-up carrier, owned by businessman Mamadou Antonio Souaré, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) on January 30 in Addis Ababa. The MOU pertains to a strategic partnership agreement concerning the provision of commercial management, maintenance, and technology transfer to Guinea Airlines. Whether Ethiopian is to have equity in the carrier was not specified.

Ethiopian has active partnerships in Malawi (Malawian Airlines) and Togo (ASKY Airlines), and is near a finalized agreement with Zambia (Zambia Airways). Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said during the press conference that talks are also ongoing with Chad, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, and Djibouti over similar joint-venture initiatives.

For its part, Guinea Airlines will specialize in domestic Guinean as well as regional West African services. As with Ethiopian's other initiatives across Africa, it is likely the nascent carrier will employ Dash 8-400 and/or B737 equipment. A decision on its final business plan is expected in the coming weeks.

The Guinea Airlines project was unveiled in February last year as a partnership with French operator Regourd Aviation (Paris Le Bourget). However, despite a formal unveiling event in Conakry in which an ATR72 and an ERJ-135 were unveiled in the airline's colours, no formal launch ever took place. Regourd Aviation declined to comment.