Air Senegal is the first African airline to welcome the Airbus A330neo aircraft into its fleet. Air Senegal has long been waiting for a wide-body plane to include in its fleet for medium to long haul flights. The Airbus A330neo was the perfect fit.
The Airbus A330neo is Finally Delivered
Air Senegal recently received the Airbus A330neo aircraft and will soon be putting it into service. Delivery of the aircraft was to the Air Senegal hub at Blaise-Diagne International Airport, where the plane will be based. Air Senegal launched a daily route service between Dakar and Paris on February 1 that the aircraft will fly. The airline hopes to use the aircraft for other routes of similar distance.
The initial delivery date for the aircraft was in January 2019. Air Senegal is a government-owned airline, so a big ceremony was held including the President of Senegal. Plans didn’t go as expected when the aircraft arrived. Air Senegal wasn’t able to immediately put the plane in service as originally planned. It was returned to France for additional test flights and service.
The Airbus A330neo is the newest model in the A330 Family. Additional testing was necessary to ensure the efficiency of the plane. Air Senegal also added their personal touch to the design of the aircraft’s interior. The company made revisions to the standard cabin organization. Passengers booking flights on the plane will choose between three-class seating, for a total of 290 seats (32 Business, 21 Premium Plus, 237 Economy).
When the aircraft was expected back in January, the airline planned to start using the plane immediately, which is why the new Dakar-Paris route was launched. Due to the delays, Air Senegal used a temporary aircraft, the Airbus A340, provided by Hi Fly Malta.
Airbus A330neo Goodwill Flight
Plans have changed for Air Senegal regarding its inaugural flight now that the aircraft returned to Air Senegal for the officially delivery. Air Senegal is operating a goodwill flight with the Airbus A330neo that will precede any revenue flights on the regular schedule.
The goodwill flight will serve to transport humanitarian freight to areas in the region with poor living conditions. The cargo will include 13 tonnes of medical equipment, supplies, adult and children’s clothes, books, and toys. These items were donated by Aviation Sans Frontières, L’Institut Universitaire du Cancer-Toulouse Oncopole, and La Chaîne de l’Espoir. These organizations will be assisting Air Senegal in the project from loading the freight to delivery in deserving areas.
Philippe Bohn, the CEO states, “The acceptance of our latest A330neo is made more meaningful as we transport humanitarian goods to those in need.” He hopes that the gesture will showcase how the aviation industry can aid in the upbringing of poor communities.
Air Senegal could be setting a new trend for African airlines to invest in the Airbus A330neo aircraft for their fleets. It’s an excellent opportunity to test the capabilities of the aircraft. Few Airbus A330neo aircraft are operational for airlines around the world. The primary user is TAP Air Portugal. Air Senegal could be eying a larger order of the plane based on the success of the first plane delivered.