Africa: Air Senegal to expand European services in Summer 2020

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Schedule data reveals that Air Senegal is planning to increase capacity on two of its European routes this summer. The additional flights to Europe will provide extra opportunities for Senegalese looking to travel to Europe and vice versa.

Reports by Routes Online reveal that Senegal’s flag carrier is looking to expand capacity on a couple of its European routes between 28 June and 6 September.

Which routes does Air Senegal hope to expand?
The details of Air Senegal’s planned expansion were shared yesterday by Routes Online. The airline will be adding extra capacity to its Dakar – Barcelona – Marseille – Dakar route, increasing flights from three to four times weekly. This European triangle route, which is served by one of the airline’s Airbus A330-900neos, only commenced operation on 9 December.

Air Senegal experienced an issue with the online reservation system for its Dakar – Barcelona – Marseille – Dakar flights between 23 and 26 December, which meant that passengers were able to book tickets even after the flights were fully booked. Despite this technical problem, it seems the route must have proven popular enough to make it worth Air Senegal’s time and money to set up a fourth weekly service.

Alongside increased capacity on the European Triangle, Air Senegal is also bringing a new route into service on 18 June. Passengers will be able to travel between Dakar and Geneva with three times weekly flights.

According to Routes Online, these flights will be operated by Air Senegal’s Airbus A321s. But there’s one little problem… Air Senegal doesn’t own or operate any Airbus A321s. The flights show up on some flight search engines but the type of aircraft cannot be verified at this time. The airline does have a pair of A319s in its fleet. Geneva would be well within the capable range of these small jets.

Air Senegal’s wider plans
Despite being Senegal’s flag carrier, Air Senegal only commenced operations in May 2018. Taking inspiration from the likes of African aviation’s poster child, Ethiopian Airlines, the Senegalese government has big plans for Air Senegal. The aim is to become a leader in the African aviation market, but there are plenty of other airlines in the region which share the same target.

In addition to its European flights, Air Senegal also has plans to fly to the US. Back in September the airline announced it would be looking to commence flights between Dakar and Washington D.C. within the next six months. Although these flights have not materialized yet, the airline now has two Airbus A330s, meaning it should theoretically have the capacity to run flights to the US.

An increasing number of airlines are setting up their own routes from Africa to the US, meaning that Air Senegal will have to be sure there is enough demand to make Dakar to Washington D.C flights viable.

The two Airbus A330neos Air Senegal recently took delivery of were the airline’s first widebody jets. They also allow the airline to operate significantly longer-haul flights.

Also, Air Senegal announced last year that it plan to launch flights between Dakar and Washington within the next six months

According to atqnews.com, Senegal’s Minister of Tourism and Air Transport announced that the airline will launch its flights between Dakar and Washington within the next six months. That’s a route that covers a distance of 4,000 miles.

He notes that with Air Afrique ceasing operations they saw a big drop in visitors from the US, though that happened nearly two decades ago. Clearly this new route would be more of a response to South African Airways cutting the route than something that happened years and years ago.

As far as Air Senegal goes, the airline operates a fleet of just five planes, including an A330-900neo, two A319s, and two ATR72s. On top of that, the airline has a second A330-900neo on order.
I’ve really been wanting to fly Air Senegal’s A330-900neo, which is super cool-looking.

Currently Air Senegal flies their A330-900neo primarily between Dakar and Paris.

With simpleflying.com

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