Sunday, December 31, 2017

Air Algerie Evaluating Order For About 35 Aircraft

Air Algerie has begun planning the next phase of its fleet development, with initial studies finding a requirement for 35 “mostly narrow-body” planes by 2025.

About 15 of the aircraft will be used for net expansion of the fleet, while the other 20 will replace ageing models.

“We are working on a plan of development maybe until 2025,” Air Algerie director general Bakhouche Alleche told me during an interview last month. “We think we need another 15 aircraft [for growth] … [Including] replacement [units] altogether [the number] is 35 aircraft.”

Algeria’s flag-carrier currently deploys 58 passenger planes: 25 Boeing 737-800s, two 737-700C convertibles, five 737-600s, three 767-300s, 12 ATR 72-500s, three ATR 72-600s and eight A330-200s.

Sixteen of those aircraft were delivered between 2014 and 2016, making them unlikely candidates for retirement. These newer units are the 737-700Cs, the ATR 72-600s, eight of the 737-800s, and three of the A330-200s.

Among the 20 planes due to be withdrawn, Alleche confirmed that eight will be ATR 72-500s. He said the Bombardier CSeries, the ATR 72-600 and unspecified Embraer models will be evaluated as replacements.

All three 767-300s will also be phased out in the near future.

Asked about route development, the director general said that Chad, Cameroon, Gabon and other countries in central Africa are on his radar. The airline also wants to begin flights to New York, but cannot do so until Algeria’s Civil Aviation Authority is certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

“[We would launch] tomorrow if we have the right,” he said in reference to New York. “The [certification] process, if launched now, will take at least 18 months.”

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