Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Air Algerie authorized to buy fifteen new aircraft to expand its range

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, May 10th 2022 à 10:10 | Read 472 times

The Algerian government will reinforce Air Algerie's international summer programme and authorise the national airline to acquire fifteen new aircraft.

Air Algerie will increase its international flight programme (photo: F.Dubessy)
Air Algerie will increase its international flight programme (photo: F.Dubessy)
ALGERIA. Several times announced on the verge of bankruptcy in recent years, and always saved by emergency financial aid from the State, Air Algerie has been called upon for months to restructure.

The national airline has seen its traffic severely disrupted by the consequences of Covid-19 (40 billion dinars - €260 million - in lost revenue in 2020), but was already in crisis before the pandemic. In April 2021, its board of directors estimated that it needed 120 billion dinars (€790m) to repay its debts and pay its 9,600 employees. In September 2011, the Algerian Minister of Transport, Aissa Bekkai, asked the company to increase its performance and improve the services provided to its customers by modernising and digitalising its structures.

In recent days, in preparation for the summer travel of its diaspora, the issue of Air Algerie's ticket prices, like those of Algeria Ferries, has come to the fore. The President of the Algerian Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, intervened to demand a revision of their price, considered too high to allow the Algerian community established in particular in the European Union and the United Kingdom to come and spend holidays in Algeria. Especially since the competing companies serving the EU, Transavia (Air France-KLM group), Air France, ASL Airlines, Tassili Airlines, Vueling, Iberia, British Airways, ITA Airways, and the newcomer since September 2021 Volotea are following the same pace of progress as and when the good weather arrives.

15 new aircraft to serve Africa and Asia

Abdelmadjid Tebboune has also asked for a rapid expansion of the international flight programme, in the face of very strong demand and aircraft that are almost already full for July and August. The Council of Ministers of 8 May 2022, which he chairs, has approved the new programme for the summer season. It will be published by an executive decree in the next few hours. The starting date has not yet been specified.

Already at the end of March 2022, Air Algérie had added sixty-four new rotations per week, including forty-nine with France thanks to the return of connections from Toulouse, Lyon, Nice and Lille after two years of absence.

On Sunday 8 May 2022, Air Algerie received the green light from the Council of Ministers for the purchase of fifteen new aircraft. A government press release specifies that these acquisitions should enable the opening of new routes to Africa and Asia.

Air Algérie currently serves destinations in twenty-eight countries, including three long-haul routes to Montreal, Beijing and Dubai operated by Airbus A330-200.

In parallel, Tawfik Khedim, deputy of the Algerians in France, suggests opening more Algerian airports to international flights, mainly from France. He mentions in particular those of the southern wilayas.


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