Air France postpones resumption of flights to Mali

BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) – Air France has postponed its resumption of flights to Mali until further notice after the government there said on Wednesday it had not yet given authorisation for them to restart.

Air France said on Tuesday it would resume flights to and from Mali’s capital Bamako on Oct. 13, having suspended them in August due to regional instability.

Mali’s transport ministry said in a statement that it was examining the airline’s request to resume and that flights remained suspended in the meantime.

“The minister recalls that flights were unilaterally suspended by the company, without properly informing the authorities and customers in advance,” the statement said, adding that it was committed to “defending Mali’s sovereignty”.

Relations between Mali and its former colonial ruler France have disintegrated since army officers seized power in two coups in 2020 and 2021.

“Following additional requests from the Malian authorities, the resumption of Air France flights to and from Bamako is postponed until further notice,” Air France said.

(Reporting by Fadimata Kontao in Bamako and Tassilo Hummel in Paris; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Jan Harvey)