Thursday, August 23, 2012

► COTE D'IVOIRE: Mali crisis, delayed delivery of aircraft blamed for Air Cote d'Ivoire's late debut.

Air Cote d'IvoireOriginally scheduled to be airborne by late July, the joint venture known as Air Cote d'Ivoire - 65% owned by the State of Ivory Coast, and the remaining 35% by the Strategic Partner made up of Air France Finance (20%) and Aérienne de Participation-Côte d’Ivoire (15%) - is now expected to take to the skies by the latest end of October, according to reports from Abidjan.

Air Cote d'Ivoire Airbus A319
An Air Cote d'Ivoire A319 (Clement Alloing)
Amongst the reasons given for the delay are the ongoing crisis in Mali which has proven to be a throne in many a carrier's side - the not least of which being Air Mali itself - as well as Air France's tardy delivery of two Airbus A319s.

According to René Décurey, the CEO of Air Côte d'Ivoire:
"We were faced with two problems: the late arrival of the aircraft and the crisis in Mali. Our business plan based on Mali has been redesigned. These concerns have had an impact on the entire process including administration and on the sale of flights to the general public. Now everything has been settled."

With a new coalition government due to be sworn in Mali, it is hoped that some degree of stability can be retained in the south where Bamako is, even if the volatile north, now the proclaimed state of Azawad, remains in the hands of the Islamist aligned "National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad."