Canadian based Company, Fly WestAF, has announced its intentions to launch the first low-cost carrier in Algeria, as there is inadequate penetration of low-cost carriers (LCCs) in the country and the African continent.
According to Le Soir d’Algérie, a file for the creation of the airline was filed on August 18 with the Algerian Directorate of Civil Aviation.
The company has been mulling potential entry to this market since 2016 but the conditions required for the market push was not in place.
What now seems possible is after the announcement by Algiers of a plan to allow in particular the creation of new local airlines, stated the airline.
“In order to support the tourism sector essential to the growth of air transport and to make the destination Algeria attractive, the arrival of a 100% Algerian LCC company will help to fulfill one of the most important conditions for launching the tourism sector in Algeria: cheap flights ”, announced Fly WestAF via its website.
The network envisaged by the low cost, will be operated by De Havilland Dash-8 Q400 according to the illustrations on the company’s site, and based in Oran-Ahmed Ben Bella Airport.
The low-cost carrier will initially begin with flights to four French and Spanish destinations including Montpellier and Toulouse in France as well as flights to Alicante and Barcelona in Spain.
Five other domestic routes will be served by the airline with destinations planned including, Algiers, Ghardaïa, Constantine, Annaba and Adrar.
Another area of development put forward by Fly WestAF air charter is 100% Algerian charter operator based on African soil that will “reduce the costs associated with charter operations (installation, bail, crew, etc.) and will thus develop the market share of external demand which is experiencing strong growth in Africa by West and Central.”
Launch dates have not been announced yet as it embarks on the process of obtaining the necessary authorizations.
But Algeria is not the only country in the sights of Fly WestAF. The low cost imagined network at Banjul-Yundum airport in Gambia includes connections to Bissau, Dakar, Conakry, Praia, Bamako, Freetown, Monrovia and Abidjan
“We are at the launch of the West African Air Passenger Market. The region is ready for the West AF product. Innovative and proven techniques for managing performance and teams in the West AF ‘Everything is Connected’ concept will support efficiency and flexibility, keys to managing change in the low cost business model,” WestAF had previously announced.
Fly WestAF argues out that in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, 80% of chartering in West and Central Africa “had been provided by European or Middle Eastern companies, with a turnover of market exceeding 350 million dollars.
“20.54 million passengers were recorded on flights between France and African services, an increase of 5.15% year-on-year. Of this total, 8.69 million or 42% were transported by French companies. The rest were by foreign airlines including African carriers, Air Algeria (2.86 million passengers), Royal Air Maroc (1.72 million passengers), Tunisair (1.39 million passengers), Air Mauritius (577,966) and Air Arabia Maroc (512,895). Over the same period. Morocco saw the largest connections in 2019 with 6.89 million passengers, followed by those to Algeria (4.35 million passengers), Tunisia (3.45 million passengers) and Egypt (639,096 passengers),” notes the company.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo