Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) is in talks with Air Mauritius (MK, Mauritius) about its participation in the insolvent carrier and is also ready to enter into similar talks with other struggling airlines in Africa, Chief Executive Tewolde GebreMariam told Bloomberg.

"The Mauritian government is thinking of restarting that business with Ethiopian Airlines. We are at the initial point of the discussion to see what kind of partnership or joint venture it will be," he said.

Air Mauritius went into voluntary administration in late April.

He said that while no talks are currently ongoing, Ethiopian would also be willing to discuss options for rescuing South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo).

South African Airways was placed under business rescue in December 2019. However, following government's decision to cease funding the airline in early April, its business rescue practitioners (BRP) warned the airline faced the prospect of liquidation given the unlikelihood that it would successfully emerge from business rescue as a viable entity. Since then, talks have taken place between its BRPs, labour unions, and government over an alternate way forward which includes the possibility of partnering private firms in a renewed national carrier.

"We think we can approach them and restart the discussion with the new airline," Tewolde said adding that Ethiopian held exploratory talks with South African Airways and government in January 2020.

One potential stumbling block to Ethiopian's entry into a renewed SAA is South African law which caps foreign ownership of locally-flagged airlines at 25%.

Currently, both Air Mauritius and South African Airways are wholly-owned by their respective governments. Ethiopian Airlines, which is also a state-owned firm, already has stakes in ASKY Airlines, Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines, Malawi Airlines, and Tchadia Airlines as it looks to build a network of feeder hubs covering Africa.