Belgian carrier to launch African airline

24th February 2010, Comments 0 comments

Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines will this year launch a new regional African airline to be based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, its chief executive said in Paris on Tuesday.

PARIS - "Our aim is to create an intra-African company and give an alternative for intra-African air traffic in difficult security conditions," Bernard Gustin, the airline's joint chief executive, told reporters.

Gustin said he wanted to launch the project this year, on the 50th anniversary of Congo's independence from Belgium. The Congolese company would be based in Lubumbashi in the southeast of the country.

The airline would be owned 50 percent by Brussels Airlines and 50 percent by the Forrest Group, which is run by influential Belgian businessman Georges Forrest and is already active in DR Congo's mining sector.

The company will start with a Lubumbashi to Kinshasa route and then extend to other routes within Democratic Republic of Congo and in the region.

Brussels Airlines also announced it would start flying new routes to Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo, brining its number of African destinations to 18.


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