RAM had envisaged a 51% stake in the airline’s capital. However, Philippe Bohn, General Manager of Air Senegal ruled out this option. The visit of Mohammed VI to Senegal in November 2016 was an opportunity for an air cooperation policy with Dakar but it resulted in a resounding fiasco to the embarrassment of Air Senegal International.
"There is a strong likelihood that the new airline Air Senegal SA will start its first commercial flight on April 4th, Senegal’s Independence Day", reported Dakar Matin, but its operations will be without Royal Air Maroc who wanted a 51% partnership. That offer was rejected by the State of Senegal.
"Make no mistake, the key to the success of this commercial adventure is the solid backing of the government and the Bureau of Deposits and Consignments holds 100% of the capital. There is 17 billions available. We will use these funds whilst maintaining our strategic autonomy. There is absolutely no question of letting in an investor who would take 51% of the company. It is a matter of national sovereignty”, said Philippe Bohn, General Manager of Air Senegal.
"It was agreed to continue exploring the opportunities for a partnership between Royal Air Maroc and Air Senegal to the benefit of both companies", stressed the Moroccan and Senegalese foreign ministers in a statement given by the Senegalese Minister of Tourism and Air Transportation, Maimouna Ndoye Seck, after a presidential meeting by King Mohammed VI and the Senegalese President on November 8th 2016 at the presidential palace in Dakar.
"This collaboration, which should be an example of the pioneering South-South cooperation between Morocco and Senegal, should take mutual interests into account, capitalizing on previous experiences and learning from them”, the statement said.
In this context, the same source added, it was agreed to "encourage the two airlines to cooperate in a mutually beneficial partnership, both technically and operationally, via commercial agreements. This new collaboration will ultimately support the launch of Air Senegal SA, one of the pillars of the flagship project, the Senegal Emergent Plan, "which aims to make Senegal a regional air services hub", continued the communication without giving any operational details. Sixteen years ago, RAM attempted a cooperation with Air Senegal International which resulted in diplomatic hostilities and the outright disappearance of the company.