in Air Transport
Air Algerie to opt for Dreamliners as fleet renewal gets government backing
The Algerian government has given the go-ahead to Air Algerie to move ahead with its plans for purchasing new aircraft as part of a bid to get the North African carrier competitive with other carriers.
The airline – which it state owned – has been starved of investment for several years but has won over the government to invest in the airline as the country attempts to regenerate its tourism business and its international relationships.
Analysts in North Africa however, were surprised that the Algerian government did not move towards the Open Skies policy that had been hinted at when the country hosted the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) annual general meeting in Algiers in November.
Algerian media reported that both the domestic liberalisation and the open skies agreements had been put on a back-burner by the government.
The airline has primarily been a Boeing customer with 23 Boeing 737s and three B767s. It has three Airbus A330s and a dozen ATR-72s which it uses for shuttle flights to the country’s main oil and gas fields. (pictured right)
Analysts suggest that Air Algerie has already been in talks with the American manufacturer for eight B787-8 Dreaminers and despite the current issues with the aircraft, the airline is ready to sign a deal.
Algerian Minister of Transport Amar Tou said earlier this week that the government had consented to "strengthening AH's fleet with the acquisition of 16 aircraft". It is understood the approval has been given for five more B737-800s and three Airbus A330-200s.
Arabian Aerospace reported last month that the airline is planning new routes to Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Lagos, New York, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.
Tou was also reported in Algiers media talking about Open Skies saying that he thought adopting the liberalised policy would put the state carrier “in difficulty.”
(c) Christian Hanuise,WIkipedia