Oct 11, 2018: Air Senegal SA has started its commercial flight to Abidjan and Cotonou from Dakar with an Airbus A319 leased from Avolon from October 5, 2018. The airline will take delivery of its second A319 later this month.

The ambition of the airline is to deploy its regional network to serve several regional routes including Abidjan, Bamako, Conakry, Cotonou, Niamey, Ouagadougou and Praia by the end of the year.

"The implementation of the regional routes shows how serious our airline is and will enable us to gradually develop our operational capacity which will culminate with the arrival of the first A330neo early 2019,” said Philippe Bohn, CEO of Air Senegal SA.

The company operated its first commercial flight on May 14, 2018 on the Dakar-Ziguinchor route, after obtaining its Air Operator Certificate (AOC). According to Air Senegal SA, operations on the domestic routes with the ATR72 are on a positive trend and have enabled to set up an appropriate organisation.

Bohn added that the goal is to build a strong airline and set up a recognised and reliable national carrier that meets the best international standards. It is Senegal's comprehensive and coherent strategy for an economic emergence through the development of capacities enabling goods and people to circulate.

The next step for Air Senegal will be the introduction of the first A330neo to its fleet. The airline has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the acquisition of two A330neo at the last air show in Dubai. The agreement was followed by a firm order in February during a ceremony in Dakar attended by Senegal president Macky Sall and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on an official visit to Senegal. The delivery is expected in January for the launch of the Paris-Dakar route on February 1, 2019.

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