Air Senegal strengthens its domestic network

Air Senegal has taken delivery of two Aircraft Industries L410 NGs which will serve its domestic routes.

Image: Air Senegal

The two L410 Ngs, delivered by the Czech company Ommypole, are part of an order for five aircraft. They are meant to consolidate Air Senegal’s fleet, improve connectivity between cities and boost domestic air traffic.

The L410 NG aircraft is the latest L410 aircraft model designed and manufactured by the Czech company LET Aircraft Industries. Serial production started in 2018.

Compared with previous models, the L410 NG offers an improved flight envelope, modernised avionics, a bigger luggage compartment as well as low operating and maintenance costs. It can carry 500 kg in increased payload and can be configured as a cargo plane. The L410 NG is also designed for short take-offs and landings (STOL). It delivers excellent performance in hot temperature, high-altitude conditions and remote areas with refuelling problems.

For several years, the Senegalese authorities have undertaken an ambitious programme to rehabilitate the country's airports to to cater for growth in the tourism sector. By stimulating commercial, cultural and social exchanges, these planes will improve the competitiveness of Saint Louis, Cap Skiring, Tambacounda and Kédougou airports, which are back into service. Ourossogui-Matam, Ziguinchor and Kolda airports will eventually be part of this territorial network.

The passenger traffic segment is on a steady rise. Blaise Diagne International Airport welcomed nearly three million passengers in 2023, an increase of 11.91 per cent compared with 2022.

Despite a difficult period between 2020 and 2022, the main airport of the country had regained its passenger traffic level prior to the pandemic (2019) by June 2022.

Air Senegal inaugurated its first flight between Dakar and Jeddah last February. This new route marked an important milestone in the development of the Senegalese flag carrier's network. It will not only facilitate pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, but will also open up new connecting opportunities for travellers.

Senegal is also writing a new chapter in its history with the election of Bassirou Diomaye Faye as president of the republic. His team has the arduous task of boosting and sustaining the national carrier’s development in a competitive environment while tackling efficiently the numerous challenges facing the aviation industry.

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.