Wednesday, June 12, 2013

► CONGO (KINSHASA): Korongo to add another 737, turboprop before year-end: Allard.

Korongo AirlinesKorongo Airlines (ZC) CEO Christophe Allard says his airline is expecting to add an additional 737 (type unspecified) and a 50-seater turboprop to its fleet before the end of the year. Funding arrangements are to be confirmed.

Former Korongo BAe146 Tail
Former Korongo BAe146 Tail (alanlorduk)
In an interview with the Congolese press in which he discussed his experiences at the airline during its first, "tough" year in the skies, Mr Allard said the addition of the two new aircraft would help fill the capacity void left following the return of two BAe 146-200s that had not proven to be compatible with the Congolese climate.

In terms of the business climate, Mr Allard said the going was tough, especially with regards to heavy taxation and import duties which forced prices up on everything from jet fuel (as he put it "US0.90 in South Africa, US2.00 in the DRC") to spares.

The general lack of air navigation equipment and services throughout the expansive Central African country also restricted the opening of new routes. Goma, along the northern shore of Lake Kivu near Rwanda, was highlighted as an example. Despite its commercial appeal, the airport's location between mountains and the unserviceability of a near third of runway 18/36 owing to a lava flow, meant flights could not safely be conducted according to ICAO norms.

See the rest of the interview here.