Air Senegal To Take First Airbus A220s In 2023

During the Dubai Air Show in the UAE on Tuesday, it was announced that one of West Africa’s youngest carriers would take five Airbus A220-300s under a new lease agreement. Deliveries of the increasingly popular little jet to Air Senegal are set to commence in 2023. However, this is three less of the aircraft than the airline had originally intended to take.

Air Senegal To Take First Airbus A220s In 2023
The A220 is heading to West Africa in 2023 after Air Senegal signs a lease agreement for five of the type. Photo: Airbus

Game-changer for the West African landscape

The Airbus A220 continues to roll out, or rather, fly off, to more and more corners of the world. Air Senegal is now set to operate the A220-300 in less than two years’ time after an agreement was reached with an Irish subsidiary of Macquarie AirFinance on Tuesday. The Senegalese flag carrier commenced operations in 2018 and intends to fly the A220 from its base in Dakar to regional and European destinations.

“We are thrilled to have Macquarie AirFinance on our side for the A220 programme. The addition of this aircraft will be a game changer in the West African landscape. It will provide our customers with an exceptional experience in terms of comfort and connectivity,” Ibrahima Kane, Chief Executive Officer at Air Senegal, said in a statement.

The five aircraft form part of the lessor’s order book of 29 A220-300s. Initially, Macquarie AirFinance had orders for 40 of the Bombardier C-series but reduced it to 29 after Airbus bought the program. In 2019, also in Dubai, Air Senegal initially revealed an agreement where it intended to take eight of the type.

Air Senegal A330neo
Air Senegal only began flying a little over three years ago. Photo: Airbus

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Part of a 20-year tourism strategy

Air Senegal was founded in 2016 but began flying in May 2018. It is the flag carrier of Senegal, and currently operates a fleet of three Airbus A319s, two A321s, two A330neos, and two ATR 72-600s. Adding the A220 to its portfolio will, other than substantially increase fleet size, make the airline’s operations more agile. It is also part of a 20-year plan to expand travel and tourism in Senegal.

“The airline’s plans for the aircraft demonstrate its exceptional passenger appeal, efficiency and versatility. We look forward to flying on the A220-300 when it enters service in Senegal and experiencing the airline’s famous Teranga hospitality,” said John Willingham, Chief Executive Officer at Macquarie AirFinance, in a statement.

Air Senegal To Take First Airbus A220s In 2023
Air Tanzania was the first carrier in Africa to operate the Airbus A220. Photo: Airbus

Africa’s first A220 arrived with Air Tanzania on December 28th, 2018. It was also the fifth airline globally to take delivery of the jet. The carrier now operates four after having received two at once at the beginning of October this year. EgyptAir also operates 12 of the type.

Are you excited to see the A220 in Air Senegal’s livery? Have you ever flown to Dakar and do you think the A220-300 is a good fit for the regional West African market? Leave a comment below and let us know.