Air Côte d’Ivoire, the national carrier of the Republic of Ivory Coast, has closed a firm order for two A330neo aircraft with a view to expansion in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
The agreement was announced at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, in the presence of Amadou Kone, Minister of Transport of Ivory Coast. Laurent Loko, General Manager, Air Côte d’Ivoire; Major General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Air Côte d’Ivoire; and Philip Mahon, Executive Vice President, Programs and Services, Airbus.
The airline currently operates a fleet of nine aircraft: one A320neo, two A320ceo, two A319 and four DHC 8-Q400. The new wide-body aircraft will allow Air Côte d’Ivoire to expand its network and launch long-haul routes, in view of the transcontinental expansion that will facilitate the connection to West Africa.
The A330neo replaces the A319neo arrangement
The deal is a replacement for two A319neos ordered in 2018, leaving three Chinese airlines and one US airline as sole operators of the model: China Southern Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Air China and Spirit Airlines.
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Air Côte d’Ivoire became the fourth A330neo customer in Africa after Air Senegal (two A330-900), Air Mauritius (two A330-900) and Uganda Airlines (two A330-800). The model includes the latest engines, a new spoiler and a series of aerodynamic innovations, providing a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.2 compared to its predecessor.
The A330-900 is capable of flying at 7,200 nm / 13,300 km non-stop. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2024 and the second quarter of 2025.
The A330neo will be configured with 240 seats. This includes more personal space, larger overhead bins, a new lighting system and the ability to offer the latest in-flight entertainment and full connectivity.
As of the end of September 2022, the A330neo has received 275 confirmed orders from more than 20 customers worldwide.
A Brief History of Air Côte d’Ivoire
Due to excessive debt and employees, Air Ivoire ceased operations in 2011 after 51 years. The company was 49.5 percent owned by the state and the rest owned by CFI Aérien, a subsidiary of the Atlantique group.
The Ivory Coast government negotiated with Air France to create a new company as a public-private entity. Air Côte d’Ivoire was relaunched on May 15, 2012, with 58% state participation, 11% from Air France and 31% from other investors.
Air Côte d’Ivoire aims to become the leading carrier of reference in West and Central Africa. Until 2019, it has generated profits of more than 200 thousand US dollars and transported 750,000 passengers annually.
Currently, through Port Bouet Airport serving Abidjan (ABJ), the company operates on:
- Abuja (ABJ) and Lagos (LOS) in Nigeria.
- Accra (ACC) in Ghana.
- Bamako (BKO) in Mali.
- Bissau (OXB) in Guinea-Bissau.
- Bobo Dioulasso (boy) and Ouagadougou (OAU) in Burkina Faso.
- Bouake (BYK), Korhogo (HGO), Mann (MJC), Odienne (KEO) and San Pedro (SPY) in Ivory Coast.
- Conakry (CKY) in Guinea.
- Cotonou (COO) in Benin.
- Dakar (DSS) in Senegal.
- Douala (DLA) and Yaoundé (NSI) in Cameroon.
- Johannesburg (JNB) in South Africa.
- Kinshasa (FIH) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Libreville (LBV) in Gabon.
- Lomé (LFW) in Togo.
- Monrovia (ROB) in Liberia.
- Niamey (Neem) in Niger.
With the A330neo, it intends to land primarily in Europe, which accounts for 61% of the passenger flow from Côte d’Ivoire, according to Laurent Loco, general manager of Air Côte d’Ivoire. It currently has a codeshare agreement with Air France, which operates two daily flights between Paris (CDG) and Abidjan (ABJ) on Airbus A330-200, Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380.
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