Equatorial Congo Airlines
|Commenced operations||24 September 2010|
|Ceased operations||10 October 2016|
|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, was an airline headquartered in Brazzaville; it was the flag carrier of the Republic of the Congo. The airline suspended all operations on 10 October 2016.
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 were provided by Geneva-based VIP business carrier PrivatAir. and thus ECAir avoided being included in the list of air carriers banned in the European Union, which applied to all airlines with maintenance services executed in the Republic of the Congo.
Operations commenced on 24 September 2010, 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.
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. Widebody operations were launched in February 2015 with the wet-lease of a Boeing 767-300ER from PrivatAir to be used on the Brazzaville to Paris service (4-weekly service). The delivery of a Boeing 787-8 was expected in the first half of 2016, with plans to open new routes to China and the United States.
The airline suspended all operations on 10 October 2016 until further notice after the responsible air navigation provider ceased all services to EC Air over unpaid debts. PrivatAir, which operated several routes on behalf of ECAir, also ended all services for the airline.
ECAir had its corporate headquarters at ECAir House, Maya Maya Airport, Brazzaville.
Ownership and structure
Since its creation, ECAir had been 70% owned by the Government of the Republic of the Congo, 15% by the seaport of Pointe-Noire and 15% by Heli-Avia company. To launch the airline, the Government engaged Lufthansa Consulting, which managed the complete start-up process preparation, and developed a five-year business plan, including future network and fleet structure for the new airline. From the outset, all cockpit crews and some cabin crews and technical support for ECAir were provided by Geneva-based carrier PrivatAir. After Lufthansa Consulting was phased out, the airline obtained specialised consultancy services mainly via the Swiss company CoeM.
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 been published, and the main sources for business information are press releases and reports. According to Swiss journalist Marc Renfer in an article published on official media, ECAir lost over 450 million Euros between 2011 and 2016.
|Number of employees||140||260||350|
|Number of passengers (000s)||207||360|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||3||4||5||7|
|Maya-Maya Airport||Brazzaville||Republic of the Congo||BZV||FCBB|
|Douala International Airport||Douala||Cameroon||DLA||FKKD|
|Dubai International Airport||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||DXB||OMDB|
|Libreville International Airport||Libreville||Gabon||LBV||FOOL|
|Oyo Ollombo Airport||Oyo||Republic of the Congo||OLL||FCOD|
|Charles de Gaulle Airport||Paris||France||CDG||LFPG|
|Antonio Agostinho Neto International Airport||Pointe-Noire||Republic of the Congo||PNR||FCPP|
|Bamako International Airport||Bamako||Mali||BKO||GABS|
|Dakar International Airport||Dakar||Senegal||DKR||GOOY|
As of December 2017 the Equatorial Congo Airlines fleet consisted of the following aircraft:
|Aircraft||In Fleet||On order||Passengers||Notes|
As of October 2016, the ECAir fleet consisted of the following aircraft:
|Aircraft||In Fleet||On order||Passengers||Notes|
|Boeing 787-8||—||1||TBD||never delivered; stored in Victorville|
- 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 registered HB-JJD.
- ch-aviation.com - ECAIR Congo suspends operations over ASECNA debts 24 October 2016
- "ECAir - Equatorial Congo Air" (PDF). www.flyecair.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.[permanent dead link]
- Drum, Bruce (2011-08-20). "PrivatAir to operate this Boeing 737 for newcomer ECAir". World Airline News. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- 2016, UBM (UK) Ltd. "ECAir Launches New Service to Paris". Routesonline. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Congo's ECAIR adds first Jetairfly B737 to fleet". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Aerospec International | Belgium's Jetairfly Seals Wet-Lease Deal With ECAir". aerosmart.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Congolese Growth". Airliner World: 12. January 2015.
- "Current Services | PrivatAir | Global leader in business aviation". privatair.com. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- "The Republic of the Congo launches new national flag carrier ECAir". www.lhconsulting.com. September 26, 2011. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "The Republic of the Congo national airline ECAir will not be profitable until 2014". CAPA. 7 August 2013.
- "Des millions d'argent public congolais siphonnés via des sociétés suisses". rts.ch (in French).
- "AFRAA visits ECAIR; urges government to support airline create sub-regional hub". AFRAA. April 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04.
- "ECAir - Equatorial Congo Airlines". www.flyecair.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Aw ar2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "CAPA Profiles - African airline start-ups hold the key to unlocking the continent's riches". CAPA. 6 December 2012.
- 2016, UBM (UK) Ltd. "ECAir to Launch Route to Dakar via Bamako". Routesonline. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Programme mensuel des vols" (PDF). www.flyecair.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- 2016, UBM (UK) Ltd. "EC Air to Start Brazzaville – Dubai Nonstop Service from late-March 2014". Routesonline. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "ECAir opens a new route to Bamako and Dakar". World Airline News. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 12.