Air Algerie has taken a significant step towards fleet modernisation, as the airline has provisionally selected a mix of Airbus and Boeing jets to fulfil its requirement of 15 aircraft.
The Algerian flag-carrier has tentatively opted for two Airbus A350-1000s, five A330-900s, and eight Boeing 737 Max 9s, according to a tender document. Air Algerie had invited offers last year, and it received various bids for 15 aircraft divided into four seat-capacity groups.
Currently, Air Algerie operates a fleet of older A330s, 737s, and ATR turboprops. The airline is also seeking proposals for an additional ten aircraft, which will be sourced through dry-leasing. The leasing tender, which runs until 22 May, includes two A330-900s and four A330-200/300s, plus two 737 Max 9s and two 737-800s. The carrier stated that the leasing tender is open to owners, operators, lessors and manufacturers.
All the aircraft featured in the carrier’s overall fleet modernisation have sole-source engines, except the A330-200/300s, for which the carrier has specified General Electric CF6 powerplants. According to industry sources, the decision to select Airbus and Boeing’s aircraft came after thorough evaluations that included other manufacturers.
Air Algérie’s fleet is relatively old, with an average age of 15 years. More than 20 of the airline’s 55 planes are over 20 years old, making a fleet renewal necessary. Four years ago, the Algerian government gave the green light to purchase new aircraft. However, the pandemic slowed down the process. Air Algérie finally received provisional budget allocation from the government to purchase 15 new jets.
The airline is looking to retire twelve Boeing 737-600s and -800s, which are over 20 years old. The four 18-year-old Airbus A330-200s will also soon need to be replaced.
Air Algérie has been dependent on government subsidies for years. The airline’s former boss once described the airline’s condition as negative operating results, high levels of debt, little liquidity, overstaffing, and an inability to finance investments.