Air Senegal aircraft will commence flights from Blaise Diagne International Airport, to regional destinations by April 2018. This categoric assurance was given yesterday by Philip Bohn, General Manager of the Senegalese airline. Then Mr. Bohn explained the reasons for the company’s delay in starting operations. According to the former Airbus agent with 33 years experience in Africa, it took longer than expected to obtain the Air Operator Certificate issued by the National Civil Aviation and Meteorology Agency (ANACIM). "When I arrived in September 2017, ANACIM wanted us to commence the PEA phase 1. Typically, on a worldwide basis it takes 8 to 10 months to acquire a PEA. Starting in September, the process would take us into the second quarter of 2018”, he said. According to Bohn, not only are they not late, they are ahead of schedule. "I think in the next few weeks, if we can conclude this process, with the PEA awarded, we can start our operations”, he said.

Speaking further, he recalled that the investable capital of Air Sénégal SA is 100% owned by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, which has already released 23 billion CFA, adding "we can spend the capital, but we must maintain our autonomy. No way might we give 51% of the capital to someone else. I will respect these instructions from the Government. Dakar is an interesting geographical hub, surrounded by 1.3 billion people within six hours flight time. Given the exponential population growth of the region, we can expect more passengers”. Recently, Airbus, in a release from its Airbus Africa Middle East commercial aircraft manager, Fouad Attar, confirmed that they are happy to have Air Senegal as a new customer. "These A330neo will allow Air Senegal to benefit from unbeatable economy and to offer its passengers a level of comfort and travel experience that will be exceptional in its market”.

As a reminder, these A330neo, launched in July 2014 as the latest generation of the Airbus wide-body family, benefit from the A330's proven track record of versatility and consistent reduction in fuel consumption. The A330neo are powered by the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and feature new larger wings with Sharklets. The cabin also offers the new "Airspace" interior. Indeed, this is the third time that Senegal has relaunched its airline after the successive bankruptcies of Air Senegal International, from 2001 to 2009, and Senegal Airlines, from 2011 to 2016.