Congo government launches new carrier to replace Congo Airways

Air Congo will be supported by Ethiopian Airlines, which will transfer seven of its aircraft to the new airline. Order status for four Embraer E2 jets uncertain

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo again changed plans to maintain a flag carrier. Cherubin Okende Senga, Transport Minister of the African country, announced the creation of Air Congo, a new airline that will be operated with the support of Ethiopian Airlines.

Air Congo will replace Congo Airways, a state-owned company created in 2015, which is experiencing technical and financial difficulties and flies with only two A320s transferred from Alitalia.

According to the Congolese government, Ethiopian must hand over one Boeing 787, three Boeing 737 and three Dash 8 turboprops by July.

“It is appropriate to create a regular, reliable and viable national airline whose shares are primarily owned by the Democratic Republic of Congo,” a spokesperson said.

Congo Airways E195-E2 rendering (Embraer)

Order for Embraer E2 jets

The launch of Air Congo reinforces rumors that Embraer’s order for four E2 jets could be cancelled. Congo Airways announced an agreement with the Brazilian planemaker in 2019, originally providing for the delivery of two E175s with an option for two more planes.

In 2020, however, the airline changed the order to two E190-E2s and last year confirmed the addition of two E195-E2s.

The first E190-E2 has been reported as ready since December, but not delivered despite Congo Airways paying the manufacturer $14 million.

Earlier this month, News Aero, from Cameroon, even mentioned that Congo Airways planned to cancel the agreement with Embraer and exchange the E2 for the Airbus A220.


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