Thursday, August 30, 2012

► CONGO (KINSHASA): Korongo to expand network to Mbuji-Mayi, Kolwezi, Goma, Kisangani with more regional routes to follow.

Korongo AirlinesWith a second Bae146-200 (aka AvroRJ 85) (MSN E2196 | OO-DJJ) having joined its fleet on Tuesday 28 August, George Forrest, the Belgian businessman and chairman of Korongo Airlines (ZC), the Lubumbashi based joint venture between Brussels Airlines (40.40%), Forrest Group (39.60%) and local DRC investors (20%), has announced that its next intended destinations within Congo are to be: Mbuji-Mayi (Eastern Kasai), Kolwezi (Katanga), followed by Goma (North Kivu) and Kisangani (Eastern Province).

Discussing the company's long term objectives at a press conference held recently during a visit by the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, to Congo, Mr Forrest said:
"It is our ambition to be a very good company; perhaps the best in Africa."

Korongo Airlines Route Map
Korongo's future route network.
Should all go according to plan, their next ventures into the regional market (Johannesburg, South Africa being their only foreign service) will be to Lusaka (Zambia), Nairobi (Kenya), Entebbe (Uganda), Luanda (Angola) and Douala (Cameroon).

Since taking to the air in April of this year, Korongo has grown from strength to strength so much so that demand for its Lubumbashi - Johannesburg flights forced the company to bring forward its intended flight frequency increase by 10 weeks. Korongo has been able to exploit its position in this under developed market by putting greater emphasis on air safety (in order to avoid the penalties of being black listed by the European Union, the company has all its aircraft registered and maintained in Belgium), a rarity in the DRC in the past.

On the impact Korongo's strict conformity to EU Regulations have had, Korongo chief executive Christophe Allard said:
"We told the Congolese that the game is over, that they have to accept modernity," he said. "Now they can prove they've chosen to move in the right direction."