Launch of new Ivory Coast airline postponed to October

August 22, 2012
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The national carrier was formed on May 15/AFP-File
ABIDJAN, Aug 22 – The launch of Ivory Coast’s new national carrier Air Cote d’Ivoire has been pushed back to October due to aircraft rental delays, its chief executive said Wednesday.

“The kick-off will happen in October, it’s certain,” Rene Decurey said at a news conference in Abidjan.

He added the launch was delayed because although the airline closed the deal to lease aircraft in May, the contract was only finalised last month.

The national carrier was formed on May 15 in a partnership between the country’s government and Air France following last year’s collapse of Air Ivoire, which ceased operations amid crushing debt and overstaffing.

The new airline will take to the sky with two airplanes leased from Irish and Australian companies and will serve nine African capitals.

The Ivory Coast government controls 65 percent of the carrier, Air France holds a 20-percent stake and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development controls the remaining 15 percent.

The company’s capital totals 2.5 billion CFA francs (3.8 million euros, $4.75 million).

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