By Aaron Ross
Congo Airways, whose launch is set for June 30, will aim “to relieve the pain of Congolese” and its first plane, an Airbus 320, is being painted in preparation for the inaugural flight, the airline’s director general Claude Kirongozi said.
“The air travel organised by the companies that have preceded us was not safe,” Kirongozi told Reuters in an interview. “These planes will be maintained. We are going to respect the maintenance programme.”
The two Airbuses will initially serve eight Congolese hubs, including the capital Kinshasa, the eastern city of Goma and the copper mining centre of Lubumbashi.
The airline expects to buy more planes in the next two to three years to expand its coverage to 54 domestic airports and foreign destinations, said Kirongozi.
With few paved roads in a country the size of Western Europe, essential services often depend on airplanes belonging to the large U.N. peacekeeping mission while traders must navigate long and expensive routes combining river, road and rail travel.