Employees of Air Afrique had gone on strike in the Congo, (at the time of going to press) in a bid to demand the departure of Mr Yves Roland-Billecart, the carrier's Chairman, and several other non-African executives who had been called in to straighten out the panAfrican carrier's finances.
The employees are calling for an "African" solution to Air Afrique's problem. They are also opposed to any increased cooperation with Air France concerning the operation and ownership structure of Air Afrique.
As many as 500 employees, based in the Congo, claim that the mission accorded to Mr Roland-Billecart and his staff has failed. They accuse the Chairman of "mauvaise gestion" (mismanagement) and argue that his contract should never have been renewed at a meeting held in January at Cotonou, Benin.
It was then that Air Afrique's Governing Board acknowledged the panAfrican carrier's "grave situation". As a consequence, it was deemed "favourable" to establish a formal partnership with Air France which holds a 12.5% stake in the carrier. The partnership would also include other, as yet unnamed, airlines representing different geographical sectors.
United Airlines is known to have been...