Equatorial Congo Airlines
|Operating bases||Maya-Maya Airport|
|Headquarters||Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo|
|Key people||Fatima Beyina-Moussa (CEO) Johan Maertens (Deputy CEO) Marco Villa (Director Strategy)|
Equatorial Congo Airlines SA, operating as ECAir, is an airline headquartered in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. The airline currently operates as the flag carrier of the Republic of the Congo.
ECAir was created with the support of the Congolese Government 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. 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.
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.
Ownership and structure
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. 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. 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.
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.
No annual reports have yet been published, and the main sources for business information are press releases and reports:
|Number of employees||140||200||350|
|Number of passengers (m)||202K|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||3||4||5||7|
ECAir has its corporate headquarters at ECAir House, Maya Maya Airport, Brazzaville.
ECAir serves the following destinations (as of March 2015):
|Brazzaville||Republic of the Congo||BZV||FCBB||Maya-Maya Airport|
|Beirut||Lebanon||BEY||OLBA||Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport|
|Douala||Cameroon||DLA||FKKD||Douala International Airport|
||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|
|Dakar||Senegal||DKR||GOOY||Dakar International Airport|
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. 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.
|Aircraft||In Fleet||On order||Passengers|
In the media
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.
- ECAir fleet list at planespotters.net
- Press Release - "Introducing the new national airline ECAir"
- "PrivatAir to operate this Boeing 737 for newcomer ECAir", at wordpress.com
- Routes Online - "ECAir launches new service to Paris"
- ch-aviation - "Congo's ECAIR adds first Jetairfly B737 to fleet"
- Aerosmart.com - "Belgium’s Jetairfly Seals Wet-Lease Deal With ECAir"
- "Congolese Growth". Airliner World: 12. January 2015.
- Lufthansa Consulting - "The Republic of the Congo launches new national flag carrier ECAir"
- "The Republic of the Congo national airline ECAir will not be profitable until 2014". CAPA. 7 August 2013.
- "AFRAA visits ECAIR; urges government to support airline create sub-regional hub". AFRAA. April 2013.
- "Our Company - Historical". ECAir.
- "CAPA Profiles - African airline start-ups hold the key to unlocking the continent’s riches". CAPA. 6 December 2012.
- 2014 Timetable, http://www.flyecair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Proramme_Vols.pdf
- "ECAir opens a new route to Bamako and Dakar". World Airline News. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- ECAir Fleet
- "Rumble in the Jungle". (June 2013). Airliner World, pp. 36.