Congo Airways
IATA ICAO Callsign
8Z CGA CONGO AIR
Founded15 August 2014 (2014-08-15)
Commenced operations20 October 2015 (2015-10-20)
Operating basesN'djili Airport[1]
Fleet size4
Destinations3
HeadquartersKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Key people
  • Louise Mayuma Kasende​ (chairperson)[2]
  • José Dubier Lueya (CEO)[1]
Websitecongoairways.com

Congo Airways S.A. is the state-owned flag carrier airline of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With a paid-up capital of US$90 million, it started operations on 20 October 2015.

History

This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2023)

Congo Airways was created on 15 August 2014 at the government's instigation, and made its first flight on 20 October 2015 using two Airbus A320 aircraft acquired from Alitalia.[3] The company initially served Congolese destinations from its base at N'djili Airport in Kinshasa, and planned to increase its fleet and serve regional and international markets.[4][5] Air France Consulting provided technical assistance to the airline.[4] One of the airline's aircraft was impounded in Dublin for a few weeks in September 2015 where it was to be painted.[6]

On 10 December 2019, Congo Airways signed a $194.4 million deal to acquire two E175 jets from Embraer. The jets were expected to be delivered in Q4 2020.[7] On 26 May 2020, Congo Airways have converted the firm order made in December 2019 for two E175 aircraft, with purchase rights for two more, into a firm order for two E190-E2 jets, with purchase rights for a further two. The jets are expected to be delivered in Q2 2022.[8] In September 2021, the airline also executed a wet lease of two Embraer 190 aircraft for two years from Kenya Airways.[9][10]

Corporate affairs

Ownership

The airline is 100% state-controlled, being owned by the Government of the DRC.[11] Shareholders are reported to be various government agencies: the Intermodal Freight Management Office (OGEFREM), the National Social Security Institute (INSS), the General of Quarries and Mines (Gécamines), the Congolese Transport and Ports Society (SCTP), the Industry Promotion Fund (FPI) and the Airway Authority (RVA).[3]

Business trends

Congo Airways does not appear to have published its accounts; also, in an audit dated 28 May 2021 there were detailed allegations that embezzlement and over-invoicing totalling several million dollars had taken place at Congo Airways over recent years.[12][13] Available figures (largely from AFRAA reports, which contain inconsistencies) are shown below (for years ending 31 December):

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Turnover (US$m) 40
Net profit
Number of employees (at year end) 365 326 430
Number of passengers (000s) 210 358 359
Passenger load factor (%) 71 62
Number of aircraft (at year end) 4 6 4 4 4
Notes/sources [14][5] [15] [11]

Destinations

As of September 2023, the company served the Lubumbashi–Kinshasa sector prior to suspending operations.[1] In May 2018 the airline commenced flights to Douala and Johannesburg-OR Tambo Airport.[16]

Country City Airport Notes Refs
Cameroon Douala Douala International Airport Terminated [16]
Democratic Republic of Congo Gemena Gemena Airport Terminated [17]
Goma Goma International Airport [18]
Kananga Kananga Airport Terminated [17]
Kindu Kindu Airport Terminated [17]
Kinshasa Kinshasa–N'djili Hub [1]
Kisangani Kisangani Airport Terminated [17]
Lubumbashi Lubumbashi International Airport [1]
Mbandaka Mbandaka Airport Terminated [17]
Mbuji-Mayi Mbuji-Mayi Airport Terminated [17]
Moanda Muanda Airport Terminated [19]
South Africa Johannesburg O. R. Tambo International Airport Terminated [16]

Fleet

Congo Airways Airbus A320-200

As of August 2019, the Congo Airways fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[20][needs update]

Congo Airways fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A320-200 2 10 150 160
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 2 5 64 69
Embraer 190-E2 2 12 84 96 Delivery expected Q2 2022[8]
Embraer 195-E2 2 12 108 120 Delivery expected to commence in 2022[21][22]
Total 4 4

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Congo Airways suspends flight operations". ch-aviation GmbH. 12 September 2023. Archived from the original on 18 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Mme Louise MAayuma Kasende, Presidente Du Conseil D'Administration" (in French). Archived from the original on 6 December 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Company History". Congo Airways. Archived from the original on 5 December 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Congo Airways outlines regional, int'l expansion plans". ch-aviation. 28 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Congo Airways poised to go up, up and away…". African Aerospace. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Court grounds Congolese aircraft in €10m debt dispute". RTE. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Brazil's Embraer signs $194.4 million deal for two E175 jets with Congo Airways". Reuters. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  8. ^ a b "EMBRAER S.A.: Congo Airways Converts Embraer E175 Order to E190-E2 Jets". PR Newswire. 26 May 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  9. ^ Gerald Andae (15 September 2021). "Kenya Airways leases 2 planes to Congo carrier". The EastAfrican. Nairobi, Kenya. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  10. ^ Peter Mburu (13 September 2021). "South Africa: Kenya Airways Leases Planes to Congolese Carrier, Starts Johannesburg-Lubumbashi Cargo Flights" (via AllAfrica.com). Daily Nation. Nairobi, Kenya. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b "AFRAA Annual Report 2019" (PDF). AFRAA. 2019.
  12. ^ "Congo Airways: several million dollars diverted (IGF)". Digital Congo. 31 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Damning audit report casts doubt on Congo Airways' $272m fleet expansion". Africa Intelligence. 3 June 2021.
  14. ^ "AFRAA Annual Report 2017" (PDF). AFRAA. 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 January 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  15. ^ "AFRAA Annual Report 2018" (PDF). AFRAA. 2018.
  16. ^ a b c Liu, Jim (29 May 2018). "Congo Airways adds new African destinations in May 2018". www.routesonline.com. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Congo Airways outlines regional, int'l expansion plans". ch-aviation GmbH. 28 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Congo Airways".
  19. ^ Liu, Jim (20 August 2018). "Congo Airways adds Moanda flight from mid-August 2018". www.routesonline.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2019): 12.
  21. ^ "Congo Airways Doubles Its Order for Embraer E2 Aircraft". 13 January 2021.
  22. ^ "EMBRAER S.A.: Congo Airways Orders Two E195-E2" (Press release).