Hewa Bora Airways

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Hewa Bora Airways
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations2011
HubsN'djili Airport
Frequent-flyer programHBA Pass
Fleet size6
Company sloganN°1 in Democratic Republic of the Congo
HeadquartersBarumbu, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Key peopleStavros Papaioannou (CEO) Ansar Mwananteba (Owner)
A Hewa Bora Airways Lockheed L-1011 in the old livery landing at Brussels Airport, Belgium. (2002)

Hewa Bora Airways Sarl (operating as Hewa Bora Airways) was the national airline of the Democratic Republic of the Congo based in Barumbu, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.[1][2] It was one of Congo's largest airlines and operated regional and domestic services. Its main base was N'djili Airport.[3] "Hewa bora" is Swahili for "fresh air".

Hewa Bora Airways had 1,100 employees in March 2007.[3]

Operations were suspended after the 2011 crash of Hewa Bora Airways Flight 952, and the airline is now defunct. The remains of the business were taken over by a new airline, FlyCongo, which in turn merged with the Compagnie Africaine d'Aviation only six months after it was started up[4]


The airline was established and started operations in 1994 with the joining together of Zaire Airlines, Zaire Express, and Congo Airlines.

On 1 November 2007, HBA (51%) and Brussels Airlines subsidiary Pan African Airlines (49%) announced a new domestic partnership to be called AirDC, to operate BAe 146-200 and Boeing 737 aircraft, principally to Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, Brazzaville, and Douala.[5] This project was cancelled because of disagreements between Brussels Airlines and Hewa Bora. On 15 December 2009, Brussels Airlines announced they are working on a new airline in the Congo. The working name of the project is Korongo; it will be launched without Hewa Bora and start operations somewhere in 2010.

On the 24 June 2009, the new website of Hewa Bora Airways went online, after not having been updated since 2005.

On 16 July 2011, the airline's Air Operator's Certificate was suspended, following the accident that befell Flight 952 on 8 July 2011.[6]


The entire Hewa Bora Airways fleet was blacklisted in European airspace. The Lockheed L-1011-500 and the Boeing 767-200ER were the last planes accepted in Europe before new noise regulations and storage of the 767 definitively banned the airline. Hewa Bora Airways was the last airline allowed to operate from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into Europe.


In March 2012, FlyCongo launched operations with the remains of Hewa Bora. It uses the airline's previous Boeing 767 and McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft. It also announced it would be destroying six aircraft left behind by Hewa Bora to reduce safety concerns.[7]


A RAK Airways Boeing 757-200 at Brussels Airport, Belgium operating a flight for Hewa Bora Airways.[citation needed] (2009)

Codeshare agreements[edit]

After a dispute with Brussels Airlines, Hewa Bora Airways decided to rescind the codeshare agreement between the two airlines and start their own flights to Brussels. However, as Hewa Bora was banned from the European Union, they had to wet-lease a RAK Airways Boeing 757–200 to operate the flights. For a short time, the airline flew twice weekly Kinshasa-Brussels-Paris-Brussels-Kinshasa. Such flights were discontinued due to the EU's total ban of Hewa Bora operations. It then became impossible for Hewa Bora to fly to the EU.


A Hewa Bora Airways Boeing 767-200ER takes off from Brussels Airport (2009)

The Hewa Bora Airways fleet included the following aircraft when it suspended operations:[8]

Hewa Bora Airways Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Boeing 767-200ER 1 191 (8/18/165)
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 4 136 (0/16/120)
Hawker Siddley HS125 1 8 (0/8/0)
Total 6

Retired fleet[edit]

A Hewa Bora Airways Boeing 727-100F at N'djili Airport (2007)

Hewa Bora Airways also operated these aircraft prior to ceasing operations:

HBA retired fleet
Boeing 707-300C
Boeing 727-100
Boeing 727-100F
Boeing 727-200
Boeing 727-200Adv
Lockheed L-1011

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 15 April 2008, Hewa Bora Airways Flight 122 crashed into a residential and market area of Goma of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Forty people were killed, among them three passengers; 111 people were injured, including 40 passengers.
  • On 21 June 2010, Hewa Bora Airways Flight 601, operating a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 9Q-COQ, burst a tyre on take-off from N'djili Airport. Hydraulic systems and the port engine were damaged and the nose gear failed to lower when the aircraft returned to N'djili. All 110 people on board escaped uninjured. The airline blamed the state of the runway for the accident, but investigators found no fault with the runway.[9]
  • On 8 July 2011, Hewa Bora Airways Flight 952, a Boeing 727–100, crashed on landing at Kisangani Airport; 74 people were killed, whilst others survived the accident with severe burns.[10]


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 23–29 March 2004. 83. "Avenue Kabambare, n 1928, Barumbu, Democratic Republic of Congo"
  2. ^ "Information." Hewa Bora Airways. Retrieved on 9 September 2010. "1) KINSHASA Direction Générale Adresse : 1928, Av. Kabambare / Barumbu" "Agence ville (+Direction Commerciale et Direction Marketing) Adresse : 129, Boulevard du 30 juin ."
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 90.
  4. ^ "DR Congo planes to be destroyed by Fly Congo". BBC News. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  5. ^ "Radio Okapi". Radio Okapi (in French). Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  6. ^ Hradecky, Simon (16 July 2011). "Accident: Hewa Bora B721 at Kisangani on Jul 8th 2011, missed runway on landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  7. ^ "DR Congo planes to be destroyed by Fly Congo". BBC News. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  8. ^ "Hewa Bora Airways Fleet". Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  9. ^ Hradecky, Simon (21 June 2010). "Accident: Hewa Bora MD82 at Kinshasa on Jun 21st 2010, burst tyre on takeoff, hydraulic failure, runway excursion on landing". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Reuters News – Fifty-three feared dead in DR Congo plane crash". Reuters. Retrieved 15 July 2010.

External links[edit]

External images
Aviation Photos: Hewa Bora Airways at Airliners.net
Aviation Photos: Hewa Bora Airways (HBA) at JetPhotos.net