A new-look Air Djibouti all set to go
The revived Air Djibouti's first aircraft landed in Djibouti today following a two-day ferry trip from Cardiff in Wales.
(c) Cardiff Aviation
The Boeing 737-400 is owned by MRO specialist Cardiff Aviation’s offshore company VVB Aviation in Malta, according to Flightglobal.
The aircraft had been prepared in Cardiff and flew to Malta via Sardinia on Tuesday.
Cardiff Aviation chairman Bruce Dickinson says Air Djibouti could soon add a BAe 146 or Avro RJ regional jet on wet-lease. From late this year, the carrier will also operate a Boeing 767-200ER, on services between its East African home nation and London Gatwick
His Excellency Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of Air Djibouti, along with other dignitaries, met the plane and crew at Djibouti’s International Airport in a ceremony welcoming this important step in Djibouti’s development as a global transport hub.
Bruce Dickinson, Chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management, delivered the Boeing 737 personally.
The plane will officially go into service on August 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Air Djibouti plans to introduce two BA146-300 aircraft by mid-September and mid-October, and a Boeing 767-200 in December this year, initially operating between Djibouti and London. Other international destinations are expected to follow soon after, as well as regional freight services.
UK-based aircraft services and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, Cardiff Aviation, is providing technical assistance and management, and secured the European- level Air Operator’s Certificate for Air Djibouti.
The launch of Air Djibouti’s commercial operations is a crucial element of the Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority (DPFZA)’s strategy for establishing Djibouti as a major logistics centre for the region. With two new airports under construction that are expected to be operational by 2019, the country is building its air transport links to complement its already well established road, rail and maritime transport network.
Bruce Dickinson said: “The arrival of the first aircraft comes at a particularly exciting time for the region as Djibouti leads in spearheading the growth of aviation in East Africa.”