Air Mauritanie

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Air Mauritanie
AirMauritanie.jpg
IATA
MR
ICAO
MRT
Callsign
MIKE ROMEO
Founded September 1962 (1962-09)
Commenced operations October 1962 (1962-10)
Ceased operations 2007
Hubs Nouakchott International Airport
Headquarters Nouakchott, Mauritania
Website airmauritanie.mr

Air Mauritanie was the national airline of Mauritania from 1962 until it ceased operations in 2007 due to financial difficulties. It was based at Nouakchott International Airport, from where it operated domestic services, as well as flights to African destinations and Paris. The carrier had its headquarters in Nouakchott.[1]

History[edit]

Air Mauritanie was established in September 1962 (1962-09) as the national airline of the country.[2] Operations started in October the same year,[3] with Spantax leasing DC-3 equipment, and also providing technical assistance.[4] A Nord 262 was ordered in 1965. The airline was reorganised in 1967, and shareholding was divided between the government of Mauritania (60%), Air Afrique (20%) and Union de Transports Aériens (UTA) (20%). Two Ilyushin Il-18s were bought in 1969, with the Soviets providing training and technical assistance; these aircraft were flown to Dakar, Nouadhibou and Las Palmas.[5]

At March 1970 (1970-03), the airline had 120 employees and operated a domestic network plus international services to the Canary Islands and Mali using one DC-3, one DC-4, and an Il-18.[4] In February 1974 (1974-02), a five-year contract was signed with Hughes Airwest for the provision of capacity building of the pilots and mechanics.[2] The number of employess had grown to 170 by March the same year, with a fleet comprising one DC-3, two DC-4s and one Navajo. At this time, Casablanca, Dakar and Las Palmas were part of the airline's list of international destinations, as well as domestic services radiating from Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.[6] That year, the carrier acquired two 40-seater F-227As valued at US$1,100,000 ($5,260,256 in 2014) million.[7] In July 1974 (1974-07), the company was reorganised again and renamed Société d'Economie Mixte Air Mauritanie.[8] By March 1975 (1975-03), the government of Mauritania was the major shareholder of the company (60%), with the balance evenly split between Air Afrique and UTA.[2]

Two Fokker F28-4000s entered the fleet in November 1983 (1983-11).[5] These two aircraft made up the fleet in late March 1985 (1985-03); at this time, there were 259 employees.[8] On 1 July 1994, a Fokker F28 was lost in an accident while landing at Tidjikja Airport during a sandstorm.[9] Two ATR 42s were ordered in 1996 for replacement of the Fokker F28 aircraft.[10] These two aircraft were delivered to the company in June and September 1996 (1996-09).[11] Aimed at promoting African integration, Air Mauritanie extended its Nouakchott–Bamako route to the Ivory Coast in November 1999 (1999-11).[12]

At April 2000 (2000-04), the staff stood at 259. The fleet comprised a single Fokker F28-4000 that served Abidjan, Aioun el Atrouss, Atar, Bamako, Banjul, Casablanca, Dakar, Kiffa, Las Palmas, Nema, Nouadhibou, Nouakchott, Tidjikja and Zouerate. At this time, Air Afrique had a 20% participation in the airline.[13] In mid-2000, the Pan-African carrier boosted its shareholding in the company to 32%.[14]

Citing safety concerns,[15] the United Kingdom banned Air Mauritanie from flying into the country airspace in January 2004 (2004-01).[16] Among other carriers, Air Mauritanie was blacklisted because of the failure of the Mauritanian civil aviation authority to comply with ICAO standards.[17] The economical situation of the carrier entered a steep decline in 2005, when the crisis forced the government to replace the airline's director.[18] It was reported in August 2006 (2006-08) that Royal Air Maroc would take a majority stake (51%) in the airline and to effectively take over its management;[19] at this time, the major stockholders were the Nationale d'assurances et réassurance (40%), the Banque Mauritanienne de Commerce International, Établissements Noueigued, and Star Oil Mauritanie.[20] However, in December 2006 (2006-12), the government of Mauritania created another carrier, Mauritania Airways, with the aid of private Mauritanian investors and Tunisair, which became the major shareholder (51%) of the newly created airline.[21][22]

By 2007, Air Mauritanie was so indebted that in September two aircraft were seized for debts with the leasing company,[23] the International Lease Finance Corporation, followed by the impoundment of the presidential aircraft, a Boeing 727-200.[18] Debts for leasing these three aircraft had risen to US$2,700,000 ($3,070,920 in 2014) million.[18] Air Mauritanie ceased operations in September 2007 (2007-09) and was liquidated.[24] Two months later, Mauritania Airways started operations.[21][25]

Destinations[edit]

Air Mauritanie was based at Nouakchott International Airport.[26] The airline served the following destinations all through its history:

Country City Airport Notes Refs
Cape Verde Praia Praia International Airport [27]
France Paris Orly Airport [26]
Gambia Banjul Banjul International Airport [13]
Guinea-Bissau Bissau Osvaldo Vieira International Airport [27]
Mali Bamako Bamako–Sénou International Airport [13]
Mauritania Atar Atar International Airport [13]
Mauritania Aioun el Atrouss Aioun el Atrouss Airport [13]
Mauritania Kiffa Kiffa Airport [13]
Mauritania Nema Néma Airport [13]
Mauritania Nouadhibou Nouadhibou Airport [13]
Mauritania Nouakchott Nouakchott International Airport Hub [26]
Mauritania Selibaby Sélibaby Airport [27]
Mauritania Tidjikja Tidjikja Airport [13]
Mauritania Zouerate Tazadit Airport [13]
Morocco Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport [13]
Senegal Dakar Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport [13]
Spain Las Palmas Gran Canaria International Airport [13]

Historical Fleet[edit]

Air Mauritanie operated the following aircraft along the years:

Accidents and incidents[edit]

As of January 2014, Air Mauritanie experienced five accidents or incidents, according to Aviation Safety Network. The only event that lead to fatalities occurred on 1 July 1994 during a landing accident.[29] Following is the list of these events.

Date Location Aircraft Tail number Aircraft damage Fatalities Description Refs
6 July 1965 MauritaniaNouakchott Douglas C-47-DL Unknown W/O 0 Unknown [30]
14 March 1979 MauritaniaNouakchott Fairchild F-27A 5T-CJY W/O 0 Damaged beyond repair on landing at Nouakchott Airport. [31]
1 July 1994 MauritaniaTidjikja Fokker F28-4000 5T-CLF W/O 80/93 The aircraft was completing a domestic Nouackchott–Tidjikja scheduled passenger service as Flight 625; the undercarriage failed on landing at Tidjikja Airport, causing the airframe to skid off the runway, crashing into a rock and bursting into flames. [32][33][34][35]
9 August 1996 MauritaniaNouakchott Fokker F28-4000 5T-CLG None 0 Hijacking episode. [36]
15 February 2007 SpainLas Palmas Boeing 737-700 Unknown None 0 The aircraft was hijacked by Mohamed Abderraman on a flight from Nouakchott to Las Palmas in the Spanish Canary Islands. The hijacker was allegedly seeking political asylum in France. Spain had identified him as a Mauritanian, while Mauritania said he was a Moroccan from the Western Sahara. The aircraft had 71 passengers and 8 crew on board. While explaining to Abderraman that the plane did not have enough fuel to reach France, the captain, Ahmedou Mohamed Lemine, discovered Abderraman did not speak French. When the Moroccan government denied the plane's request to land and refuel at Dakhla in the Western Sahara, the pilot decided to continue on to Las Palmas as planned. Afterwards the captain spoke to the first officer Satvinder Virk who was travelling as safety pilot in French, warning him that upon landing he was going to brake hard, to throw the hijacker off balance and give the crew a chance to overpower him. On landing, the captain did so, and the hijacker fell to the floor, dropping one of his pistols. First officer Virk and steward Thiam (entering first and immobilising the hijacker) poured boiling water from the coffee machine on him and beat him until they considered him sufficiently subdued. The hijacker was tied with life-jacket straps and handed over to the Guardia Civil. About twenty passengers were slightly injured when evacuating from the port aft escape slide. [37][38][39][40][41]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nos agences at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 October 2007)
  2. ^ a b c d "World airline directory – Air Mauritanie (Société Nationale Air Mauritanie)". Flight International 108 (3445): 468. 20 March 1975. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "World airline directory – Air Mauritanie". Flight International 159 (4772): 66. 20 March 2001 – 26 March 2001. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Air Mauritanie (Société Nationale Air Mauritanie)". Flight International 97 (3185): 469. 26 March 1970. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Guttery (1998), p. 122.
  6. ^ "World airline directory – Air Mauritanie (Société Nationale Air Mauritanie)". Flight International 105 (3393): 16. 21 March 1974. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Air Transport". Flight International 105 (3396): 451. 11 April 1974. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. "Air Mauritanie has bought two 40-seat F-227As with spares from International Air Lease. The aircraft, which cost a total of $1.1 million, will be delivered in May and June and will be the subject of a five-year maintenance support contract with, it is reported, Hughes Air West." 
  8. ^ a b "World airline directory – Air Mauritanie (Société d'Economie Mixte Air Mauritanie)". Flight International 127 (3953): 47. 30 March 1985. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Guttery (1994), p. 122.
  10. ^ "Air Mauritanie order". Flightglobal. Flight International. 22 May 1996. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Guttery (1998), p. 123.
  12. ^ "Mauritania: Air Mauritanie Launches New African Route". AllAfrica.com. The North Africa Journal. 19 November 1999. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "World airline directory – Air Mauritanie". Flight International 157 (4722): 63. 4 April 2000 – 10 April 2000. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Afrique invests in ally". Flightglobal. Flight International. 25 July 2000. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "EU Parliament backs airline safety blacklist". Times of Malta. Reuters. 17 November 2005. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Ray, Susanna; Rothman, Andrea (1 September 2005). "Swiss Ban Egypt, Armenia Airlines on Safety Concerns (Update1)". Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Cendrowicz, Leo (19 August 2005). "EU to blacklist unsafe airlines". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c "Crise à Air Mauritanie : Décision dans les 48 heures". Aujourd'hui Le Maroc. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Africa report: Survival test". Flightglobal. Airline Business. 21 November 2006. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. "A 51% stake and management control is being negotiated with Air Mauritanie and RAM will also take on the lease of the airline's two 737-700s." 
  20. ^ "Événement : La RAM prend le contrôle d'Air Mauritanie". Aujourd'hui Le Maroc. 21 August 2006. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Le nouvel opérateur mauritano-tunisien, Mauritania Airways effectue mercredi un vol inaugural". Babnet Tunisie. 3 November 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Mauritania Airways a été créée, hier le lundi 18 décembre 2006, dans le cadre d'un partenariat tripartite entre la Mauritanie, TUNISAIR et le groupe mauritanien Bouamatou". Tustex. 19 December 2006. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Deux avions d'Air Mauritanie bloqués à Orly". Aujourd'hui Le Maroc. 13 September 2007. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Other News - 10/23/2007". Air Transport World. 23 October 2007.  (subscription required)
  25. ^ "TTI : lancement opérationnel chez quatre nouveaux clients". Boursier.com. 16 November 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c Reseau at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 October 2007)
  27. ^ a b c "World airline directory – Air Mauritanie". Flight International 153 (4619): 44. 1 April 1998 – 7 April 1998. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  28. ^ "Air Mauritanie adds VIP 727". Flightglobal. Flight International. 25 November 2003. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "Accident record for Air Mauritanie". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  30. ^ Accident description for 6V-AAA at the Aviation Safety Network
  31. ^ Accident description for 5T-CJY at the Aviation Safety Network
  32. ^ Accident description for 5T-CLF at the Aviation Safety Network
  33. ^ "The world's worst air disasters". The Guardian. 25 July 2000. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  34. ^ "Air Mauretanie F28 crashes in sandstorm". Flight International 146 (4429): 10. 13 July 1994 – 19 July 1994. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  35. ^ "Mauritania Crash Kills 94". The New York Times. 2 July 1994. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  36. ^ Hijacking description for 5T-CLG at the Aviation Safety Network
  37. ^ Hijacking description at the Aviation Safety Network
  38. ^ "Fast-thinking pilot fools hijacker". NBC News. Associated Press. 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  39. ^ "Mauritania pilot outwits hijacker". BBC News. 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  40. ^ "This is your captain. Get ready to jump on the hijacker when we land". Mail Online. 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. 
  41. ^ "Air Mauritania hijack ends, suspect arrested-radio". AlertNet. Reuters. 15 February 2007. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Guttery, Ben R. (1998). Encyclopedia of African Airlines. Jefferson, North Carolina 28640: Mc Farland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-0495-7. 

External links[edit]