Air Côte d’Ivoire receives Airbus A320neo, becomes first operator of aircraft in West Africa
CAPE TOWN - Côte d’Ivoire has received its first Airbus A320neo, becoming the first operator of the aircraft in West Africa.
This latest generation aircraft will join Air Côte d’Ivoire’s existing Airbus fleet of six aircraft, the aeroplane manufacturer said in a statement dated Thursday.
The new aircraft will be deployed on Air Côte d’Ivoire’s regional network to serve Senegal, Gabon, and Cameroon.
Le 17 février 2021 à 11h GMT, le Transfert de Titre de l’Airbus A320neo à Air Côte d’Ivoire a été signé entre Airbus aviation et les dirigeants de la compagnie.— Air Côte d'Ivoire (@AirCI_Officiel) February 18, 2021
RDV dés 16H sur la page Facebook de Air Côte d'Ivoire pour ne rien rater.#AirCotedIvoire #A320neo pic.twitter.com/rMr8S64yhT
The airline said destinations like South Africa would be added at a later stage, highlighting the operational flexibility of the A320neo.
Meanwhile, Air Cote d’Ivoire’s first A320neo took off from Toulouse in France carrying 1 tonne of humanitarian goods including medical equipment and toys.
The transported goods will serve local non-governmental organisations in Cote d’Ivoire’s economic capital Abidjan, supporting the education and health sector.
Air Cote d’Ivoire has a fleet of 10 aircraft, including three A319s and three A320s, serving 25 domestic and regional destinations in West and Central Africa.
With the commencement of Covid-19 vaccine roll outs across the continent, an increase in air travel is anticipated as countries relax regulations aimed at curbing transmissions of the coronavirus.
A majority of West African airlines resumed operations last August, having been grounded for months due to the pandemic, which saw the airline industry incur a collective financial loss of around $370-billion, according to the United Nations.
A January report by the UN’s air transportation agency said there had been a “dramatic” fall in international air travel of around 60 per cent over the course of last year due to Covid-19, to levels last seen in 2003.
– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa