Dakar MRO centre boosts emerging Senegal plan

Air Senegal and Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) have jointly signed an agreement to open a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre in Dakar.

Picture: Air Senegal

Its creation complements the development of the Dakar air hub and meets the specifics of the ‘emerging Senegal plan’.

It is also designed to ensure the transfer of skills to Senegalese youth, as well as to control operating costs.

The maintenance centre will service aircraft of the Airbus family (A320, A330 and A340); Boeing 737s; and engines including the CFM56 and Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000.

The MRO is aiming for certification from Senegal’s National Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology (ANACIM), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It will meet the needs of the national airline, as well as regional and international requirements.

Work is expected to start this year with completion scheduled for 2023.

At the same time, Air Senegal is preparing to establish an air transport trades academy in partnership with AIBD, to further enhance the local workforce skills.

According to the airline’s CEO, Ibrahima Kane, 2021 will be a year of resilience. “To support the efforts already recorded during the second half of 2020, we have gradually reopened our network, in particular to Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring (domestic); Abidjan, Conakry, Nouakchott, Banjul, Bamako and Praia (regional); along with intercontinental flights to Paris, Barcelona (via Casablanca) and Milan,” he said.

There are also plans to open new routes shortly to Lyon, Marseille, Cotonou, Douala and Libreville, while a request has been submitted for direct flights to Washington DC and New York from September.

Reported by Vincent Chappard.