in Air Transport / Features

Camair-Co goes from strength to strength

Posted 10 June 2019 · Add Comment

Cameroonian national airline, Camair-Co, posted a good performance in 2018 with a 62% increase in turnover, passenger traffic reaching 343,000, and a reduction in its operating loss, report Romuald Touembou Ngueyap and Vincent Chappard.

 “Our assessment is encouraging, even if the company has not yet reached cruising speed,” said CEO, Ernest Dikoum.
Since joining the company in 2016, the CEO has put in place a strong recovery plan for a company that was on the brink of bankruptcy with a debt of around €49 million ($55.7m).
“I joined a company in great difficulty but with enormous potential,” said Dikoum. “We are working on recovery following the business plan developed by Boeing Consulting and validated by Cameroon’s head-of-state, Paul Biya.
“The first priority was to reduce Camair-Co’s debt, so we suspended operations on some regional services and consolidated our home network. This increased the flow of passengers between the country’s major cities – Yaounde, Douala, Garoua, Maroua, Ngaoundere, Bafoussam and Bamenda – and boosted local demand, thanks to running around 150 weekly flights, albeit with a slight drop in load factors.
“The company was then able to gradually resume its regional services to seven destinations on the African continent, including Libreville, Bangui, N’Djamena, Dakar, Abidjan, Cotonou and Lagos.”
The extension of the network also involved strengthening the aircraft fleet.
Since the beginning of Q2, Camair-Co’s fleet has included a B767-300ER; two B737-700 NGs; two MA60s; and a Bombardier Q400.
In January 2018, the airline decided to introduce the B767-300ER on to new intercontinental routes, starting with Paris. It is hoped that this will be followed by flights to Brussels, London and Washington.
The airline expects to benefit from carrying delegates attending the 51st African Airlines Association (AFRAA) General Assembly at the end of 2019 in Yaoundé.
Camair-Co intends to pursue its strategy of regional development and consolidation and is planning new routes to Bamako in Mali and Brazzaville in Congo in 2019 with an extension to Kinshasa in the DRC. Johannesburg and Paris are also included in the expansion plan.
Camair-Co faces competition from RwandAir, Asky Airlines and Air Côte d’Ivoire, while newcomers, Chadia Airlines and Afrijet, are also expanding. Other potential threats come from Air Algeria, which has announced flights to Douala with an extension to Libreville, and Congo Airways, which has inaugurated a new Kinshasa-Douala-Cotonou route.

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