Cargo had in the past not played a deciding role in Air Algerie’s planning and network.
This seems to be changing fast as the Algiers-based airline recently made it known that they will launch a new cargo subsidiary in 2016.
The airline will acquire two P2C converted Boeing 737-700(C)s next year.
The first one will arrive in May of 2016 and the second one a few months later in September.
The freighters will be operated on regional routes
This new development within the airline was made known at an investor forum organized by a leading Algerian newspaper at the beginning of April.
It seems that the conversion of the two 737s from their passenger configuration will start towards the end of this year. It is not made public as from which carrier the aircraft will be acquired.
Air Algerie will use the new freighters on regional routes within North Africa and Europe.
Whether the carrier is looking at tying up with a larger freight airline in order to provide services for the North African market, is not presently known.
Creating multiple organizations
Air Algerie, under the guiding hand of its CEO, Mohamed Salah Boultif, is in the middle of a radical restructuring process.
The Algerian government regulatory commission has given him the green light to create four new subsidiaries, which include the new cargo set-up as well as a catering company, a ground handling firm and an own MRO subsidiary.
The decision as to whether Air Algerie will also be allowed to create online ticket sales, aircraft cleaning and social services companies is still pending.
Quite some changes coming up for the carrier
It does not stop there it seems.
Mr Boultif has plans in his drawer to also set up an in-house Low Cost Carrier with the aim of being able to compete with other LCC’s in the region.
New routes to Addis Ababa and N’Djamena are being opened up by the end of this year with a further six or seven destination in Africa which will be added in 2016 and 2017.
The carrier’s general fleet planning has been under internal scrutiny during the past months and the aim is to acquire (apart from the B737Cs) a further sixteen aircraft as part of the fleet renewal programme.
John Mc Donagh