Iceland-based capacity solution provider Loftleidir Icelandic is to undertake a management contract with TACV Cabo Verde Airlines, as the archipelago’s government seeks to restructure and privatize the national carrier.

Cabo Verde (Cape Verde in English) is a cluster of islands off the northwest coast of Africa that has become an increasingly popular holiday destination in recent years, especially for European tourists seeking to escape the continent’s winter months.

TACV Cabo Verde operates a small network of routes to Western Europe, South America, West Africa and Providence, Rhode Island in the US with a single Boeing 757-200.

One of the aims behind the agreement is to strengthen TACV so it can contribute to Cabo Verde’s potential as a year-round tourist destination. The Cabo Verde government also hopes to develop Cabo Verde’s geographic position as a connecting hub, linking four continents.

Loftleidir Icelandic is a subsidiary of Icelandair and handles charter and ACMI operations for the latter carrier. Its roles at TACV will include network planning, marketing, sales and distribution planning as well as the restructuring of TACV’s fleet.

Loftleidir-Icelandic operates as a capacity solution provider concentrating mainly on aircraft and maintenance projects and consulting services. In addition to Boeing 757s, which makes up the bulk of Icelandair’s fleet, it also operates 737-700 and -800s.

“We … look forward to assisting TACV Cabo Verde Airlines in developing further its untapped potential as a key player in the future air hub in Cabo Verde,” Loftleidir Icelandic SVP-marketing and sales Erlendur Svavarsson said.

“We believe that TACV Cabo Verde Airlines is in a great position to take advantage of the unique geographical location of Cabo Verde. To this end, we will draw on Icelandair Group’s successful experience in building a hub-and-spoke system to support an air hub operation in Cabo Verde.”

Cabo Verde’s minister of economy and employment José Gonçalves described the arrangement as “a mutually beneficial agreement with Loftleidir Icelandic … leading to the restructuring and privatization of our national airline.

“We are very proud that Cabo Verde is in a privileged position as one of the very few countries in Africa to boast four international airports classified as Category 1 by the US FAA and a national airline certified as an IOSA Operator under the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program.

“The two companies have a long-standing relationship, and for decades Icelandair provided ground support to TACV Cabo Verde Airlines at Boston Logan Airport in the US,” he said.

Alan Dron