in Air Transport / Features

New airline will boost Senegal's economy

Posted 23 May 2017 · Add Comment

Boosting Senegalese commercial air transport and tourism were the prime agenda items at a recent Paris conference.

With annual economic growth of around 6.5%, Senegal aims to attract private investment to support the launch of its emergent Senegal plan (PSE), according to Minister for Tourism Maïmouna Ndoye Seck.
She said: “West Africa is experiencing strong and sustained growth in the services sector and this is an asset for us, which we hope to benefit from by boosting our services and realising our ambition to become the first multi-service tourist and business hub in the region.”
She said that this ambition rests on three pillars: the completion of the long-awaited Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) along with its MRO centre and cargo village; the development and re-opening of regional airports; and the regeneration of a strong national airline.
AIBD, she explained, has a strong strategic position as it is close to the major tourist centres like the seaside resort of Saly Portudal, the new high-end integrated tourist areas in Mbodiène and Joal Finio, and the new marina of Pointe Sarène.
The growing good health of commercial air transport will undoubtedly depend on the relaunch of a national airline, as, in the recent past, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts by the Senegalese authorities to build a stable and sustainable national airline, culminating in Senegal Airlines’ virtual collapse last summer.
Minister Seck told the conference: “We have a company – Senegal Airlines – that we sought to revive. But, faced with many difficulties and the very heavy liability of the company, we opted for the creation of a new airline.
“The new airline, Air Sénégal SA, has been created with capital of 40 billion CFA francs ($65 million), which we expect to increase to 100 billion with the arrival of commercial partners.
“We commissioned a major study and this demonstrated that we have excellent routes with high potential, both domestic and regional, and also internationally. Our neighbouring countries form a natural market for us and these nations do not have strong airlines. Other inter-African routes are also interesting but require government agreement or agreements,” she concluded.
 

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