During the Dubai Airshow, Air Senegal and the financing specialist Macquarie AirFinance initialed a supply contract for five aircraft.
Three years after its launch, and in accordance with its desire to develop its activities, Air Senegal indicates in its latest press release that it is determined to “fully play its role in the African air transport industry”.
Thus, on November 16, the managing director of Air Senegal, Ibrahima Kane, initialed alongside John Willingham, managing director of Macquarie AirFinance, a lessor specializing in the financing of aircraft acquisition contracts, a delivery protocol of five Airbus A220 aircraft. This is a hire purchase (leasing) which will start in 2023. The five aircraft are part of the order book of Macquarie AirFinance, which owns 29 Airbus 220s among its 240 aircraft and order commitments.
Macquarie AirFinance, a renowned player with a strong presence in Africa
Macquarie AirFinance is an entity of the diversified financial group Macquarie Group Limited, based in Australia and present in some thirty markets, including France, and with more than 355 billion euros in assets under management.
Macquarie AirFinance works with several African airlines including Air Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Mango Airlines.
All the comfort levels that we have on the A330neo, we will have them on the A220
Air Senegal had already unveiled an agreement at the previous Dubai show, in 2019, by which it planned to order eight A220s supposed to be delivered in 2021. The information provided to date by the carrier does not mention these aircraft anywhere in its fleet.
Much lower operational cost
In a document published in 2019, the African Airlines Association (Afraa) noted that “the market value in 2018, the year of construction of the A220-100 and the A220-300, [était] at $ 33.9 million and $ 36.7 million respectively, and the typical rental price at $ 245,000 and $ 285,000 per month for new devices ”. The A220, one of the latest additions to the Airbus family, is one of the manufacturer’s flagship monohull aircraft. Indeed, this aircraft, which can hold an average of 130 passengers, is cheaper than other planes in the same range, and is able to cover the same distances as a Boeing 737 or an Airbus 320.
“The A220s ordered will be in two models, there is a Long Range model that allows you to go to London with an extremely high level of comfort. All the levels of comfort that we have today on the A330neo, we will have them on the A220 ”specifies the CEO of Air Senegal on the official website of the airline.
With this order, Air Senegal seeks in particular to highlight its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, since these aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney turbofans consume up to 25% less fuel and reject 25% carbon dioxide. less per seat than previous generation models. In addition, the cost of maintenance is 17% cheaper than the A319s used by the Senegalese company. On top of that, these jets are considered quieter than other models.
Our priority is the continuous improvement of the level of service offered to our passengers
Air Senegal will use these A220s to connect Dakar to regional and European destinations. Air Senegal’s investment is part of a twenty-year plan to develop travel and tourism in the land of Teranga.
“These planes will allow us to offer a level of quality to passengers on flights that we call“ long and thin lines ”such as London, Milan, Geneva, Marseille or Lyon… But what must really be kept in mind, these are planes that will allow us to have a much lower operational cost, ”explains Ibrahima Kane.
Numerous new connections
With the implementation of new flight routes, Air Senegal now operates 21 routes including 18 outside Senegal. In 2021 alone, from the Blaise-Diagne International Airport (AIBD) hub, the Senegalese national pavilion serves eight new destinations such as Cotonou, Libreville, Milan, Lyon, and New York.
We want people to be able to fly affordably anywhere in Senegal
“To reach today’s milestone, a colossal permanent and serious work was necessary”, had proudly declared Ibrahima Kane on the occasion of the inaugural flight Dakar-New York-Washington in September 2021.
“Air Senegal is the realization of the vision of the President of the Republic of making the AIBD an international hub,” said Doudou Ka, general manager of the AIBD. These testimonials are more than current the day after the signing of this contract with Airbus.
“In 2022, the priority is the continuous improvement of the level of service offered to our passengers”, confirmed Ibrahim Kane in the specialized media of the airline sector. “Our wish is to extend it to other destinations as soon as the Senegal Airports Rehabilitation Program (PRAS) ends so that we can take the plane at an affordable price anywhere in Senegal”.
Put an end to the difficult years
According to indications given by Ibrahima Kane to the Senegalese television channel iTV on December 27, 2020, that year, Air Senegal lost about 25% of its turnover due to restrictions linked to the pandemic. The Senegalese flag bearer had subsequently benefited from 68 million euros in state grants in 2020. The official figures for 2021 are still not accessible.
The carrier, which began commercial operations in 2018, currently operates Airbus A330-900, A321 and A319, as well as two ATR 72-600s.