Unconfirmed reports in the Ethiopian and Eritrean press have claimed Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) intends to acquire a 20% stake in Eritrean Airlines (B8, Asmara).

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Eritrea this past weekend ending years of hostilities between the two countries. At the end of the visit, Abiy signed a Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship with his Eritrean counterpart, Isaias Afwerki, in which they pledged to reopen embassies in each other's countries. Eritrea also pledged to reopen Port Assab to Ethiopian goods while Ethiopian Airlines will start daily Addis Ababa-Asmara flights from July 17 onwards.

On the back of these developments, the official Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) subsequently ran a story, based on Eritrean sources, that Ethiopian Airlines would take a 20% stake in Eritrean Airlines as part of the economic and diplomatic detente.

However, the privately run Addis Standard magazine later reported that no such deal had been struck and that the EPA report had referenced "unreliable sources".

Ethiopian Airlines was not immediately available for comment.