Air Senegal is set to take delivery of its first of two Airbus A330neos soon, and is targeting using its home base at Dakar Blaise-Diagne International Airport as a hub for Western Africa. 

“Our first A330neo will be flying the Dakar-Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) route on a daily basis. The second A330neo will fly to North and South America. Using Dakar as a hub for West Africa is indeed the vision,” an Air Senegal spokesperson in Dakar told ATW.

Air Senegal is the first African airline to receive and operate the A330neo. In February 2018, the airline firmed an order for two of the type following an MOU signed at the Dubai Air Show in November 2017.

The aircraft is configured in three classes, comprising 32 business-, 21 premium-plus and 237 economy-class seats.

The carrier expects the A330neo to deliver a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared with older generation competitor aircraft of a similar size.

Air Senegal, which launched operations in 2018, hopes to carry 350,000 passengers this year with a turnover of more than €100 million ($114.9 million).

The carrier will lease a third Airbus A319 to increase feeder traffic to/from its Dakar home base. “This aircraft is expected in late June to join the fleet on a dry lease basis from Lessor Apollo [Carlyle Group],” he said.

Air Senegal also operates two ATR 72-600s.

The spokesperson said the carrier is also wet leasing an Airbus A340-300, which belongs to Portuguese wet-lease specialist Hi Fly and operates on the Dakar-Paris CDG route. 

Air Senegal’s first Rolls-Royce Trent 7000-powered A330neo touched down in Dakar Jan. 31 on a pre-delivery flight.

Other A330neo operators in Africa include RwandAir and Air Mauritius.

Kurt Hofmann,