Air Senegal To Expand European Services In Summer 2020

Schedule data reveals that Air Senegal is planning to increase capacity on two of its European routes this summer. The additional flights to Europe will provide extra opportunities for Senegalese looking to travel to Europe and vice versa.

Air Senegal Airbus A330
Air Senegal will be altering its summer schedule. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Reports by Routes Online reveal that Senegal’s flag carrier is looking to expand capacity on a couple of its European routes between 28 June and 6 September.

Which routes does Air Senegal hope to expand?

The details of Air Senegal’s planned expansion were shared yesterday by Routes Online. The airline will be adding extra capacity to its Dakar – Barcelona – Marseille – Dakar route, increasing flights from three to four times weekly. This European triangle route, which is served by one of the airline’s Airbus A330-900neos, only commenced operation on 9 December.

Air Senegal experienced an issue with the online reservation system for its Dakar – Barcelona – Marseille – Dakar flights between 23 and 26 December, which meant that passengers were able to book tickets even after the flights were fully booked. Despite this technical problem, it seems the route must have proven popular enough to make it worth Air Senegal’s time and money to set up a fourth weekly service.

Alongside increased capacity on the European Triangle, Air Senegal is also bringing a new route into service on 18 June. Passengers will be able to travel between Dakar and Geneva with three times weekly flights.

According to Routes Online, these flights will be operated by Air Senegal’s Airbus A321s. But there’s one little problem… Air Senegal doesn’t own or operate any Airbus A321s. The flights show up on some flight search engines but the type of aircraft cannot be verified at this time. The airline does have a pair of A319s in its fleet. Geneva would be well within the capable range of these small jets.

Air Senegal Airbus A330
Air Senegal now has two Airbus A330s. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

Air Senegal’s wider plans

Despite being Senegal’s flag carrier, Air Senegal only commenced operations in May 2018. Taking inspiration from the likes of African aviation’s poster child, Ethiopian Airlines, the Senegalese government has big plans for Air Senegal. The aim is to become a leader in the African aviation market, but there are plenty of other airlines in the region which share the same target.

In addition to its European flights, Air Senegal also has plans to fly to the US. Back in September the airline announced it would be looking to commence flights between Dakar and Washington D.C. within the next six months. Although these flights have not materialized yet, the airline now has two Airbus A330s, meaning it should theoretically have the capacity to run flights to the US.

Blaise Diagne International Airport
Air Senegal wants to launch flights from Dakar to Washington D.C. Photo: Diop Barka via Wikimedia Commons

An increasing number of airlines are setting up their own routes from Africa to the US, meaning that Air Senegal will have to be sure there is enough demand to make Dakar to Washington D.C flights viable.

The two Airbus A330neos Air Senegal recently took delivery of were the airline’s first widebody jets. They also allow the airline to operate significantly longer-haul flights.

Simple Flying has reached out to Air Senegal with a request for comment on its new summer routes expansions. The airline hasn’t yet been able to respond to our request, but we’ll update this article once we receive more information.