Congolese ECAir Hands Over its ULD Biz to Jettainer

Brazzaville-based Equatorial Congo Airlines (ECAir) is Jettainer’s first African customer. Beginning 1 January 2015, the German service provider is responsible for managing all containers and pallets utilized by its new Congolese partner. The contract runs for three years.

Boeing 737-300 painted in ECAir colors but operated by Private Air  /  source: ECAir
Boeing 737-300 painted in ECAir colors but operated by Private Air / source: ECAir

Who is ECAir?, many might ask. Indeed a plausible reaction since not much is known up to now of this company. The airline was incepted in 2011 by the Congolese government with the clear aim of contributing to the modernization of the air transport industry in the African country.

Growing regional and intercontinental network
The maiden flight took from Brazzaville’s Maya-Maya Airport to Pointe-Noire by deploying a Boeing 737-300 passenger jet, followed shortly after with the introduction of new routes to airports in Central and Western Africa, namely Douala and Cotonou.
Meanwhile, ECAir links both Brazzaville and Point-Noire with Paris, offering three roundtrips per week from each of the Congolese cities. In March this year Brazzaville-Dubai was added to the map, offered also thrice weekly.

Partnering with Private Air
Although the seven-unit fleet is painted in the livery of ECAir, all are operated by Private Air, an international aviation group headquartered in Switzerland. It was this company in close coordination with Lufthansa Consulting and supported by the Congolese government that laid the cornerstone for building ECAir.
Today, the fleet encompasses two Boeing 737-300s and B-700s together with two 757-200s and one 767-300ER. According to contractual agreements, Lufthansa Consulting is responsible for identifying further routes and enlarge the fleet successively.

Model function for other African carriers
What is clear is that ECAir is a rather small fish in terms of ULD movements among Jettainer’s mandate airlines. However, the newcomer is growing constantly and – provided the ULDs are well managed – could develop into a showcase which might be of attraction for some other African airlines.
Currently Jettainer manages more than 85,000 ULDs for 16 clients of which Lufthansa Cargo, American Airlines, Etihad or Jet Airways are the most recognized. Due to the global reach of many of the ULD manager’s clients, the service provider has developed an international network of locations. “Equatorial Congo Airlines will now also profit from this network,” states Jettainer’s Managing Director, Carsten Hernig.

Continued growth expected
Don Jacobs, Sales Director at Jettainer adds to this: “In order to cover the ULD demand, airlines – especially smaller airlines and airlines extending into wide-body operations – increasingly rely on external specialists. This provides additional opportunities.”
The manager further states that his company expects to continue its growth with the existing as well as new clients from various regions and by offering airlines a variety of business models in the coming year.

Heiner Siegmund

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