The BOT contract is significant because it will be the first partnership between the public and private sector in the aviation sector. In December, Germany’s Lufthansa Consulting was appointed to carry out a review of SAA and the Civil Aviation Authority in a project funded by Berlin (MEED 16:1:04).

SAA recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) to establish a joint venture airline between the two airlines. The new carrier will provide low-cost air taxi services in the region using 50-seater aircraft. Damascus and Beirut are holding talks with a number of potential private sector investors to participate in the venture. The UK’s SH&E International Air Transport Consultancy is adviser on the project.