Mar 07, 2012
New DRC airline to take to the skies next monthBack
Brussels|Engineering|Johannesburg|Kinshasa|Lilongwe|Lubumbashi|LUSAKA|Africa|Brussels Airlines|Components|Introducing Korongo Airlines|Korongo Airlines|Systems|Africa|Belgium|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Malawi|South Africa|Uganda|Zambia|Air Operator|Aircraft Maintenance Services|Airline|Mining|Systems|Underdeveloped Airport Infrastructure|Christophe Allard|Georges Arthur Forrest|Infrastructure|Boeing 737
© Reuse this
CEO Christophe Allard told Engineering News Online that the most significant aspect of Korongo Airlines establishing its operating base in Lubumbashi is that it would in future be able to provide aircraft maintenance services to European Union standards in the heart of Africa.
“We have a 12 000 m2 piece of Belgium in Central Africa, thanks to our new hangar for servicing aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737. We also invested heavily in the underdeveloped airport infrastructure, to get it up to modern international standards, allowing us to operate international flights from the airport to previously cut-off regions,” he said.
Introducing Korongo Airlines represents a new way of travel to the region. The company said it would develop its routes and flight frequencies in three phases during the year, with the first phase entailing eight weekly flights between Lubumbashi and the DRC’s capital Kinshasa, and two weekly connections from Lubumbashi to Johannesburg.
This is in addition to Brussels Airlines operating a three-times-a-week service from Lubumbashi to Brussels.
Other destinations to be connected in future development phases include Kolwezi, in the south of the DRC where there is a significant demand for the service from mine operators, Lilongwe in Malawi, Lusaka in Zambia and Entebbe in Uganda.
The airline would introduce business-class travel options from Lubumbashi, as well as snacks on short-distance flights, and hot meals on any flights longer than two hours.
Tickets would also be available electronically for the first time in the DRC, while passengers could choose to buy fully flexible, semiflexible or low-cost tickets, depending on individual needs.
The airline would also target international ticket booking systems such as the Galileo and Amadeus ticketing networks to enable customers to book tickets from anywhere in the world.
Korongo Airlines would also provide air-freight capacity in the region.
The airline is a joint venture between Brussels Airlines, which owns a 40% interest and is supplying the leased Boeing 737-300 and a BAE 146-200 aircraft, civil engineering and mining services group George Arthur Forrest, which holds 39.6% interest, and DRC investors.
The aircraft were recently refitted and modernised and underwent a ‘tropicalisation’ process to accustom the aircraft components to the hot and humid climate of the region.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Video News
Updated 7 hours ago Nigeria-focused oil and gas explorer Oando Energy Resources (OER) on Wednesday announced that it had completed the acquisition of the Nigerian upstream oil and gas business of New York-listed ConocoPhillips for a total cash consideration of $1.5-billion as well as a...
Updated 7 hours ago The disciplinary hearing of telecommunications giant Telkom’s suspended CFO Jacques Schindehütte was set to resume next Wednesday. Telkom said it hoped the hearing would result in a definitive resolution on the matter of Schindehütte’s personal conduct after a...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...