Congo’s new national airline promises safer flights




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By Aaron Ross

KINSHASA– Democratic Republic Congo’s new airline on Wednesday promised cheaper and safer air travel a country long known for its notoriously poor transport infrastructure.

Air travel Congo has been dogged by lax standards, frequent crashes and poor . All domestic carriers are banned from operating inside the Union for reasons.

Congo Airways, whose launch is for June 30, will aim “to relieve the pain Congolese” and its first plane, an Airbus 320, is being painted preparation for the inaugural flight, the airline’s general Claude Kirongozi said.

Negotiations over the purchase a second Airbus be concluded within a week, he added.

“The air travel organised by the companies 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 Airbuses will initially serve eight Congolese hubs, including the capital Kinshasa, the eastern city of Goma and the copper mining centre of Lubumbashi.

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The airline expects to buy more planes in the next to three years to expand its coverage to 54 domestic airports and foreign destinations, said Kirongozi.

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.

 

*(Reuters)*