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Tunisair logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1948 (1948)
Commenced operations 1 April 1949 (1949-04-01)
Hubs Tunis-Carthage International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Fidelys
Airport lounge Espace Previlige
Fleet size 34
Destinations 101
Headquarters Tunis, Tunisia
Key people Sarra Rejeb (CEO)[1]
Website www.tunisair.com

Société Tunisienne de l'Air, or Tunisair (Arabic: الخطوط التونسية‎‎) is the flag carrier airline of Tunisia.[2] Formed in 1948, it operates scheduled international services to European, African and Middle Eastern destinations. Its main base is Tunis-Carthage International Airport. The airline's head office is in Tunis, near Tunis Airport.[3] Tunisair is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.[4]


Tunis Air Douglas DC-4 at Paris (Orly) Airport in 1957

The carrier was formed by the government of Tunisia as Société Tunisienne de l'Air in late 1948. The initial investment was FRF 60 million, with shareholding split between the government (35%), Air France (35%) and another interests (30%).[5] Air France transferred some of its DC-3s and routes (which included TunisBoneAlgiers, Tunis–AjaccioNice, Tunis–Bastia–Nice, Tunis–Rome and a cargo flight between Tunis and Marseilles)[6] to the new airline for it to start operations;[5] these commenced on 1 April 1949 (1949-04-01).[7] The first managing director of the company was Rene Lefevre.[8]

The route network was expanded along the coast during the early 1950s. In 1951, Casablanca, Ghudamis and Tripoli were incorporated as destinations. In May that year, a Tunis–TripoliSabhah service was launched; it was routed via Sfax and Djerba in September. The Ghudamis route was terminated in 1952, and the Casablanca run was taken over by Air France the same year. In 1953, the service to Marseilles was extended to Paris. In 1954, a Douglas DC-4 was leased from Air France and used on the route to Paris.[8] At March 1955 (1955-03), the fleet comprised three Douglas DC-3s, one Douglas DC-4 and a SNCASE Languedoc.[9] During 1955, the carrier transported 92,344 passengers. At year end, the number of employees was 140. The airline had a revenue of £620,000 for 1955, and costs totalled to £550,000.[10] In 1957 the Tunisian government became the largest shareholder (51%) and the stake held by Air France was reduced to 15%.[8]

A Tunis Air Caravelle III at Euroairport in 1977. The carrier took delivery of the first aircraft of the type in 1961.[8]

The carrier took delivery of its first jet-powered aircraft, a Sud Caravelle III, on 31 August 1961. A new service to Frankfurt was inaugurated in October but it was terminated in March the following year due to poor economical performance. A second Caravelle was ordered in 1963 and entered service in March 1964 (1964-03). In cooperation with Lufthansa, flights to Frankfurt were restarted in April 1966 (1966-04) using Caravelle equipment.[8] The Nord 262 was first put into service in 1969.[11] The introduction of this aircraft into the fleet along with the airline already having two Caravelles in operation allowed the carrier to phase out a DC-3 and two DC-4s.[12]

A Boeing 727 formerly operated by Tunisair painted with an older livery.

The number of employees had grown to 888 by March 1970 (1970-03). At this time, they had four Caravelles, two Cessna 402s, a DC-3 and a Nord 262, which were used on domestic services and international routes to Algeria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands,[nb 1] Italy, Libya, Morocco and Switzerland.[13] Tunis Air took delivery of its first Boeing aircraft, a Boeing 727-200, on 12 March 1972;[14] it was put on service on the Tunis–Paris run.[15] On 1 April 1972 (1972-04-01), a Boeing 707 that was leased from Sabena inaugurated the Tunis–London link.[16] The same day, new services to Luxembourg and Jeddah were launched.[17] Late in the year, a second Boeing 727s was ordered for delivery in July 1973 (1973-07).[15] In 1973, a third Boeing 727 was ordered for handover in December that year.[18] A fourth and fifth 727 were ordered in 1974 and 1975.[19][20][21][22] The gradual incorporation of the Boeing 727s permitted Tunisair to replace the Caravelles and to retire the remaining DC-3s.[12]

A Tunisair Airbus A320-200 on short final to Zurich Airport in 2011.

For the first time in its history, in 1995 the carrier started trading its shares at the Tunis stock exchange when 20% of the stake was floated.[23] Ahmed Smaoui took over as president and director general of the company in March 1997 (1997-03).[24] In January 1999 (1999-01), Abdelmalek Larifthe became the new president. Also in 1999, flights to Amman and Beirut were.[23] At April 2000 (2000-04) the airline had 7259 employees. At this time the fleet comprised one Airbus A300B4-200, two Airbus A319-100s, ten Airbus A320-200s, four Boeing 727-200 Advanced, three Boeing 737-200 Advanced, four Boeing 737-500s and three Boeing 737-600s that served the following destinations: Abu Dhabi, Algiers, Amman, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Berlin, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Cairo, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Dakar, Damascus, Djerba, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gafsa, Geneva, Graz, Hamburg, Istanbul, Jeddah, Lille, Linz, Lisbon, London, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Malta, Marseille, Milan, Monastir, Munich, Nice, Nouakchott, Palermo, Paris, Prague, Rome, Salzburg, Sfax, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Tabarka, Toulouse, Tozeur, Tunis, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.[7]

In 2007, Nabil Chettaoui was appointed as chief executive officer (CEO).[25] In June 2011, Hamadi Thamri replaced Chettaoui as president and CEO of the company.[26] In July the same year, Moscow was first served by the carrier with flights to Domodedovo Airport.[27]

The airline's first transatlantic service, Tunis–Montreal, was launched in July 2016 (2016-07).[28]

Corporate affairs[edit]


The company is 74% owned by the Tunisian government.[29]

Business trends[edit]

Annual reports for Tunisair do not appear to be regularly published; figures can also appear to be inconsistent in industry and press reports. Figures for the Airline (as opposed to the Group) seem to be as shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover (DT m) 1,130 1,147 1,114 857
Net Profits (DT m) 125.8 205.3
Number of employees 3,709 3,747
Number of passengers (m) 3.2 3.8 3.7 3.5 2.8
Passenger load factor (%) 70.5 71.8
Number of aircraft (at year end) 29
Notes/sources [30] [30][31] [29][31][32] [32][33] [33]

Key people[edit]

As of April 2015 the CEO position was held by Mrs Sarra Rejeb, who was appointed by the Ministry of Transport. She replaced Mrs Saloua Sghair who had been CEO since May 2012.[34]

Head office[edit]

Tunisair's head office is located on Route X near Tunis-Carthage Airport in Tunis.[35]


Main article: Tunisair destinations

Tunisair flies to destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.[36] Its main base is Tunis-Carthage International Airport.


Recent developments[edit]

Tunisair became the first Airbus A319 customer in both the Arab World and Africa when it ordered three aircraft in October 1997, along with four Airbus A320s.[37] Another order followed the same year when the carrier acquired four Boeing 737-600s that were initially slated for delivery starting in May 1999 (1999-05).[38] The airline took options on three more aircraft but the specific variants were not informed at that time.[38][39] The aircraft included in both orders were aimed at replacing the ageing Boeing 727s and 737s in the airline's fleet.[38] The company took delivery of its first A319 in August 1998 (1998-08).[40] Tunisair subsequently added three more Boeing 737-600s, taking delivery of the seventh one in April 2001 (2001-04).[41]

Two second-hand General Electric CF6-powered Airbus A300-600R were purchased in 2000;[42] A third aircraft of the type joined the fleet in 2001.[43] An extended range A319 was ordered in 2006.[44] In July 2008 (2008-07), Tunisair ordered three Airbus A350 XWBs, along with three Airbus A330-200s and ten Airbus A320s.[45][46] The order was partially amended in mid-2013, when the airline cancelled the order for the A350.[2] The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in June 2015 (2015-06).[45] The Airbus order was amended again in 2016, removing an A330 and four A320s and including four Airbus A320neos.[47]


A Tunisair Airbus A319-100 at Zurich Airport in 2011.

The Tunisair fleet consists of the following aircraft, as of March 2016:[48]

Tunisair Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A300-600 3 28 235 263
Airbus A319-100 4 16 90 106
0 144 144
Airbus A320-200 17[nb 2] 25 120 145
0 162 162
Airbus A320neo 4[47]
Airbus A330-200 2[45] 24 242 266[45]
Boeing 737-500 2 0 126 126
Boeing 737-600 7 0 126 126
Total 35 4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ″Holland″ is the name of the country served included in supporting source.[13]
  2. ^ Official information shows 16 aircraft in fleet;[48] these figures also include one sharkleted aircraft of the type that was delivered in November 2014 (2014-11).[49]


  1. ^ http://www.leaders.com.tn/article/16737-sarra-rejeb-nouvelle-pdg-de-tunisair
  2. ^ a b Kaminski-Morrow, David (7 June 2013). "Tunisair appears to cancel A350-800 order". Flightglobal. Toulouse. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tunisair Tunis." Tunisair. Retrieved on 21 June 2010. "Head Office Agency Tunisair BD du 7 Novembre 1987 2035 Tunis Carthage"
  4. ^ "Member Airlines". Arab Air Carriers Organization.  Archived 26 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  5. ^ a b Guttery 1998, p. 210.
  6. ^ Guttery 1998, p. 210–211.
  7. ^ a b "World airline directory – Tunisair". Flight International. 157 (4722): 109. 4 April 2000 – 10 April 2000. ISSN 0015-3710. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d e Guttery 1998, p. 211.
  9. ^ "World airline directory – Tunis Air". Flight. 67 (2407): 308. 1 March 1955. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "World airline directory – Tunis Air, Société Tunisienne de l'Air". Flight. 71 (2519): 615. 3 May 1957. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Air transport". Flight International. 96 (3165): 695. 6 November 1969. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Most recent of the Nord 262s to enter service is that of Tunis Air. 
  12. ^ a b Guttery 1998, p. 212.
  13. ^ a b "World airlines 1970 – Tunis Air (Société Tunisienne de l'Air)". Flight International. 3185 (97): 507. 26 March 1970. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Air transport". Flight International. 101 (3289): 401. 23 March 1972. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Tunis Air took delivery of a 727-200 on March 12—the airline's first Boeing. 
  15. ^ a b "World news". Flight International. 102 (311): 262. 24 June 1972. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. A second Boeing 727-200 has been ordered by Tunis Air for delivery in July 1973. The airline's first 727 went into service on the Tunis-Paris route last March. 
  16. ^ "Air transport". Flight International. 103 (3344): 572. 12 April 1973. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. The Tunis Air 707—leased from Sabena—which inaugurated a once weekly Tunis-London service on April 1. 
  17. ^ "World airlines – Tunis Air (Société Tunisienne de l'Air)". Flight International. 101 (3296): 48. 18 May 1972. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Air transport – Boeing: 18 more orders". Flight International. 3353 (103): 914. 14 June 1973. Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Air transport". Flight International. 106 (3422): 516. 17 October 1974. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Tunis Air has ordered a fourth Advanced 727-200 for delivery in December. 
  20. ^ "Air transport". Flight International. 105 (3400): 589. 9 May 1974. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Tunis Air has purchased an Advanced 727-200 to add to its existing fleet of three. Delivery will be in December this year. 
  21. ^ "Airliner market". Flight International. 107 (3452): 725. 8 May 1975. Archived from the original on 24 January 2014. Tunis Air has purchased its fifth 727-200 for handover in November. 
  22. ^ "Airliner market". Flight International. 108 (3445): 442. 20 March 1975. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Tunis Air has ordered a fifth Boeing 727-200. 
  23. ^ a b "A tough task in Tunisia". Flightglobal. 1 May 2000. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "State grip on Tunisair slips". Flightglobal. Airline Business. 1 September 1997. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Executive appointments in brief". Flightglobal. Airline Business. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Tunisia's transport ministry has named Nabil Chettaoui as Tunisair's new chief executive, replacing Youssef Neji. 
  26. ^ Dron, Alan (14 June 2011). "Thamri named as new CEO of Tunisair". Flightglobal. London. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "Tunisair opens Moscow service". Flightglobal. London. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. 
  28. ^ Young, Kathryn M. (11 July 2016). "Airline Routes-July 11, 2016". Air Transport World. Tunisair has begun its first transatlantic service with 2X-weekly Tunis-Montreal with Airbus A330-200s.  Archived 22 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  29. ^ a b "Annual Report 2014". African Airlines Association. 2014. 
  30. ^ a b "Discover Tunisair: Performances". 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  31. ^ a b "Tunisair implements a crisis recovery plan as LCCs await an open skies agreement". CAPA Centre for Aviation. 23 May 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "TunisAir has increased its revenue, Engineers plan strike". North Africa Post. 4 February 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "Tunisair tente de rebondir en ouvrant de nouvelles lignes (translation: Tunisair trying to bounce back by opening new routes)". econostrum. 24 February 2016. 
  34. ^ "Tunisia: Mrs. Sarra Rejeb Appointed New CEO of Tunisair". All Africa. 2 April 2015. 
  35. ^ "Tunis." Tunisair. Retrieved on 16 March 2010.
  36. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2016/04/07/tu-yul-jun16update2/
  37. ^ "Tunisair is first Arab customer for A319". Flightglobal. 22 October 1997. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 
  38. ^ a b c "Tunisair follows Airbus order with 737-600s". Flightglobal. 5 November 1997. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 
  39. ^ "Tunisair Selects Next-Generation 737s for Fleet Expansion" (Press release). Boeing. 28 October 1997. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. 
  40. ^ "Marketplace". Flightglobal. 9 September 1998. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Tunisair took delivery of its first of three CFM International CFM56-powered Airbus A319s during August. 
  41. ^ "Tunisair takes delivery of seventh and last Boeing 737-600 on order". Flightglobal. Flight International. 24 April 2001. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. 
  42. ^ "Marketplace". Flightglobal. 11 April 2000. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Tunisair has purchased two ex-Emirates Airbus A300-600Rs that had been traded back to the manufacturer. One of the two General Electric CF6-powered aircraft has been delivered, the second is due later this year. 
  43. ^ Bonnassies, Olivier (23 July 2012). "Tunisair to sell A300s". Flightglobal. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. 
  44. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (5 July 2006). "Tunisair to increase range of Airbus A319 fleet". Flightglobal. London. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. 
  45. ^ a b c d Kaminski-Morrow, David. "PICTURE: Tunisair takes delivery of first A330-200". London: Flightglobal.  Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  46. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (15 July 2008). "FARNBOROUGH 2008: Tunisair firms order for A350s, A330s and A320s". Flightglobal. Flight International. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. 
  47. ^ a b Kaminski-Morrow, David (6 September 2016). "Tunisair orders A320neos after rejigging backlog". London: Flightglobal. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. 
  48. ^ a b "Our Fleet". Tunisair. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. 
  49. ^ Duclos, François (1 December 2014). "Tunisair : nouvel Airbus A320, trafic en baisse". Air Journal (in French).  Archived 9 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 


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

External links[edit]