KINSHASA: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is preparing to set up "in the coming days" a new national aviation company called "Air Congo", DRC's Ministry of Transport said Sunday.
The new airline "will have to be born in the coming days in the DRC with quality aircraft", thanks to a partnership with Ethiopian Airlines, the ministry said on its Twitter account, adding that Ethiopian Airlines will hand over "at least seven planes to the DRC as part of a joint venture".
The upcoming acquisition of these aircraft is the result of a memorandum of understanding signed in September 2021 in Addis Ababa between the DRC and Ethiopian Airlines, a joint venture in which the DRC would hold 51 percent of the shares against 49 percent for the Ethiopian company.
"The opening up of the national territory is the essential basis for economic and social development, in particular through the upgrading of air transport in optimal conditions of safety and security. It is in this context that I place my partnership strategy with Ethiopian Airlines," Cherubin Okende Senga said in September in Addis Ababa.
Congo Airways currently serves as DRC's main public airline and is DRC's state-owned flag carrier airline. With a paid-up capital of 90 million dollars, it started operations in October 2015, using two Airbus A320 aircraft acquired from Alitalia.
Congo Airways, now with a fleet of four aircraft, also offered regional flights to Johannesburg, Douala and Cotonou.