Equatorial Congo Airlines

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Equatorial Congo Airlines
ECAir Logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
LC PTI -
Founded 2011
Operating bases Maya-Maya Airport
Fleet size 7
Destinations 10
Headquarters Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
Key people Fatima Beyina-Moussa (CEO) Johan Maertens (Deputy CEO) Marco Villa (Director Strategy)
Website flyecair.com

Equatorial Congo Airlines SA, operating as ECAir, is an airline headquartered in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo.[1] The airline currently operates as the flag carrier of the Republic of the Congo.

History[edit]

ECAir was created with the support of the Congolese Government[2] to serve as a locomotive for the modernization of the aviation sector in the region. Crews and technical support for ECAir are provided by Geneva-based VIP business carrier PrivatAir.[3] and thus ECAir avoids being included in the list of air carriers banned in the European Union, as are all airlines with maintenance services executed in the Republic of the Congo.

Operations commenced on 24 September 2011, the company having taken delivery of its first aircraft, a Boeing 737-300. It took delivery of a second Boeing 737-300 in February 2012.

On 24 August 2012 ECAir launched its first International route, Brazzaville – Paris-CDG, offering 4-weekly service on board a PrivatAir Boeing 757 aircraft.[4]

On 14 November 2014 the Belgian airline Jetairfly sealed a wet-lease deal to provide up to four aircraft with crew to operate on behalf of ECAir from mid 2015 on.[5] [6]

Widebody operations were launched in February 2015 with the wet-lease of a Boeing 767-316 from PrivatAir to be used on the Brazzaville to Paris service (4-weekly service). The delivery of a Boeing 787-8 is expected in the first half of 2016, with plans to open new routes to China and the United States.[7]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Ownership and structure[edit]

ECAir, since its creation, is 70% owned by the Government of the Republic of the Congo, 15% by seaport of Pointe-Noire and 15% by Heli-Avia company.[citation needed] To launch the airline, the Government engaged Lufthansa Consulting, who managed the complete start-up process preparation, and developed a five-year business plan, including the future network and fleet structure for the new airline.[8] From the outset, all cockpit crews and some cabin crews and technical support for ECAir have been provided by Geneva-based carrier PrivatAir. After Lufthansa Consulting was phased out, the airline obtained specialised consultancy services mainly via the company CoeM. CoeM is also active in other services fields in Congo, like urbanism, buildings, and hotels.

Business trends[edit]

The airline commenced operating in September 2011, and it was reported that the carrier’s business plan does not expect it to become profitable until its third year of operation, i.e. 2014.[9]

No annual reports have yet been published, and the main sources for business information are press releases and reports:

2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover
Number of employees 140 200 350
Number of passengers (m) 202K
Number of aircraft (at year end) 3 4 5 7
Notes/sources [10][11] [12]

Head office[edit]

Head office of Equatorial Congo Airlines at Airport Brazzaville

ECAir has its corporate headquarters at ECAir House, Maya Maya Airport, Brazzaville.

Destinations[edit]

ECAir serves the following destinations (as of March 2015):[13]

Base
City Country IATA ICAO Airport
Brazzaville  Republic of the Congo BZV FCBB Maya-Maya Airport
Beirut  Lebanon BEY OLBA Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Cotonou  Benin COO DBBB Cadjehoun Airport
Douala  Cameroon DLA FKKD Douala International Airport
Dubai [14]
 United Arab Emirates DXB OMDB Dubai International Airport
Libreville  Gabon LBV FOOL Libreville International Airport
Oyo  Republic of the Congo OLL FCOD Oyo Ollombo Airport
Paris  France CDG LFPG Charles de Gaulle Airport
Pointe-Noire  Republic of the Congo PNR FCPP Antonio Agostinho Neto International Airport
Bamako  Mali BKO GABS Bamako International Airport[15]
Dakar  Senegal DKR GOOY Dakar International Airport[15]

Fleet[edit]

HB-JJE at Airport Brazzaville

The ECAir fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2014) as noted below. All aircraft are piloted with and maintained by PrivatAir employees operating under contract to ECAir.[16][17] As of 2015, some of the PrivatAir planes are being transferred to TUI Airlines Belgium who will continue the wetlease, and provide crew both for cockpit and cabin.

ECAir Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet On order Passengers
Boeing 737-300 2 120
Boeing 737-700 2 124
Boeing 757-200 2 148
Boeing 767-300ER 1 194
Boeing 787-8 2
Total 7 2

In the media[edit]

On 22 July 2013, French singer PASSI released his new clip "Attachez vos ceintures" (translated from French: "Fasten your seat belt") partially recorded in ECAir 757 registred HB-JJD.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 4°16′S 15°17′E / 4.267°S 15.283°E / -4.267; 15.283