Mali's ruling junta have cancelled the authorization given to French flag carrier Air France to resume operations and services to the country.
Two senior Malian officials and an air transport official gave the update on Wednesday less than 24hours after news went round that Air France will resume service to Mali from Friday.
"The decision was cancelled because the agreement was given without consulting the hierarchy," said one official. Air France had announced on Tuesday that it would resume service to Mali from Friday .. after a two-month suspension amid tensions in the Sahel and between Bamako and Paris.
The earlier announcement indicated the resumption of flights would be carried by a third-party aircraft and crew. Air France had said in its announcement that the flights sold by Air France will no longer be operated by the company's own aircraft, but by "a Boeing 777-200 ER belonging to Portuguese carrier EuroAtlantic Airways".
It added that the crew will also be made up of employees of this company which, in addition to scheduled flights, offers charter and leasing services.
The airline had suspended its flights to Mali and Burkina Faso on August 7, following the closure of airspace in neighboring Niger, the scene of a coup d'état on July 26.
The initial suspension was just for several days, but after the airline extended the suspension, citing Niger's coup and the "geopolitical situation" in the Sahel region, Malian authorities revoked Air France's permit.
Relations between Mali and France have soured since a junta seized control in the West African country in 2020.