The Air Algérie company, long singled out for its mismanagement and its numerous shortcomings, now wants to turn the page. The government’s latest decisions for the benefit of the national company should allow the latter to initiate a development plan and open up to competition.
The Council of Ministers, held last Sunday, was welcomed with relief by officials of Air Algérie. The meeting brought several good news for the national company. The government has decided to approve Air Algérie’s flight plan in anticipation of the summer season. The new flight program will be officially announced through an executive decree, said a statement from the Council of Ministers.
The other government announcement concerns the strengthening of the Air Algerie fleet. Long desired by the management of the company, the renewal of the Air Algérie fleet has now been approved by the government. The latter finally gave the green light for the acquisition of 15 new planes by Air Algérie, according to the terms of the same press release.
Reinforcing Air Algerie’s fleet with 15 new planes will be of great benefit to the company, said Amine Andaloussi, Air Algerie’s communications officer in a statement to the Arabic-language newspaper Echorouk. “The decision brings a forward-looking vision and a reinforcement to the national economy through in particular a revitalization of the new airport of Algiers with more than 15 million travelers per year”, he explains.
With the acquisition of new aircraft, the company Air Algérie, whose fleet has become aging, will also be able to “develop the plan for exporting Algerian products to different destinations and this will involve the purchase of large freight aircraft “says Amine Andaloussi. The strengthening of the fleet will above all allow Air Algérie to boost its tourist and commercial services, its two real reasons for existing.
Air Algérie will “increase the number of flights” and will “lower prices”
In this regard, the spokesperson for Air Algérie indicates that with the government’s approval of the new flight plan, the company “will return to its usual program from the summer season”. A situation that will allow Air Algérie “to work at full speed” and “to meet the demands of the national community abroad in anticipation of the summer season”, he explains. “With the new plan, Air Algérie will increase the number of flights and will lower prices,” he adds.
On the other hand, Amine Andaloussi indicated that the management of Air Algérie will begin a study to “identify its needs concerning the development of its connections in Africa, Asia and America as well as the strengthening of its domestic lines and the development cargo freight”. It is at the end of the results of this study that the company Air Algérie will decide on “the quality of the planes to be acquired”, he adds.
Air Algérie, which currently has a fleet of 56 aircraft, will be reinforced to reach 71 aircraft. “With the acquisition of these 15 new aircraft, Air Algerie will open up to competition and will aim to reach international standards in the aviation sector,” says Air Algerie’s communications manager. This will involve “increasing the number of flights, setting up a competitive pricing system and improving services for the benefit of customers,” he explains.
The new planes will be ordered from Airbus and Boeing
For Amine Andaloussi the green light granted by the government to Air Algérie for the purchase of 15 new planes is a “strategic decision” for “the reinforcement and the renovation of the fleet” of the company. In this regard, Air Algérie will “launch a call for tenders for the purchase of new aircraft, depending on the needs from the two manufacturers Airbus and Boeing”. The average price of these new planes is 100 million dollars, specifies the same source.
However, the acquisition of these 15 new aircraft will not take place immediately, according to Amine Andaloussi “the manufacturing time of these aircraft will be between two and five years”. According to him, this duration is explained by “the strong demand from airlines around the world for the purchase of new aircraft, in particular with the improvement in the health situation”.
Regarding the financing of the purchase of these 15 new planes, a source from the management of the Air Algérie company explained that the latter “will seek a loan from the banks”. This is the same procedure followed by Air Algérie during previous purchases of new aircraft, explains the same source. “The payment of these new planes will be made in three stages”, according to the specifications established by Air Algérie. The repayment of the bank loan will be made according to “a schedule which will take into account the commercial and public status” of the company Air Algérie, adds the same source.