Aviation: Africa World Airlines set to add E190 to support Accra–Lagos route
Africa World Airlines head of commercial Richard Kyereh, has said the airline is seeking to add an Embraer 190 into its fleet to complement its smaller ERJ-145s on its busiest routes, according to a report by CAPA.
Kyereh said this on the sidelines of AviaDev Africa 2018. He said the aircraft will most likely be deployed on the airline’s Accra–Lagos route which is now served up to five times daily. Mr Kyereh said the route has grown thanks to a move to GDS distribution, an additional cost for its low cost model, but one that has proved beneficial.
“Initially we were looking at 20% load factors on what was a less than daily flight back in 2015 before we distributed via the GDS. It is now up to five times daily. It’s fine trying to keep costs low, but you need to see what works for your own needs.”
Similarly, the airline may also switch to Chinese Made Comac as investor HNA plans to buy more planes.
Africa World Airlines parent company, HNA Group as agreed to purchase 200 C919 and 100 ARJ-21 planes from the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC).
According to atqnews.com, both companies said in a statement that they had signed a strategic cooperation under which HNA had agreed to introduce and operate the jets in China and in overseas markets such as Africa over an unspecified period of time.
It did not disclose financial terms or say whether these were firm orders or options.
The Chinese conglomerate, which has been selling assets to raise cash, holds stakes in over ten airlines, including Hainan Airlines, Capital Airlines and Africa World Airlines in Ghana. It signed a deal for 15 C919 planes in 2010.
HNA said it had signed the deal to support the development of China’s aviation industry as well as Beijing-led “Made in China 2025” and Belt and Road initiatives, it said.
The C919 aircraft is a symbol of China’s ambition to muscle into a global jet market estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next two decades, as well as of Beijing’s broader “Made in China 2025” plan to spur home-made products, from medicines to robots.
The state plane maker sent the C919 narrowbody plane on its maiden flight last year and obtained approval to begin mass production of the ARJ-21 regional jet last July.
In February, COMAC said its total order book for the C919 jet was 815 aircraft, while orders for the ARJ21 stood at 453.