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Air Afrique

 

Air Afrique

Air Afrique
IATA
RK
ICAO
RKA
Callsign
AIRAFRIC
Founded 28 March 1961 (1961-03-28)
Commenced operations 1 August 1961 (1961-08-01)
Ceased operations January 2002 (2002-01)
Hubs
Secondary hubs
Subsidiaries
Destinations 22 (at the time of closure)
Company slogan Ligne de vie pour le nouveau millénaire
(English: Line of life for the new millennium) (1999)[1]
Headquarters Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Key people
Website .com.airafriquewww (currently unavailable)[3]:45

Air Afrique was a Pan-African airline,[4] that was mainly owned by many West African countries for most of its history. It was established as the official transnational carrier for francophone West and Central Africa, because many of these countries did not have the capability to create and maintain a national airline,[5] and had its headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.[6] The carrier was a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as the French Union's smaller IATA-like ATAF.[7]

Air Afrique began a steady decline in the early 1980s, yet many years later the company was still considered the most reputable carrier in West Africa,[8] and even one of the top five airlines of Africa. Mismanagement, corruption, and the downturn in the aviation industry after the 11 September 2001 attacks led the airline to a crisis that ended with its liquidation in early 2002. Even though there were plans to revive the airline with the creation of a new company,[9][10][11] they never materialised, as it was succeeded by short-lived Afrinat International Airlines.

Contents

  • History 1
    • The early years 1.1
    • The 1970s 1.2
    • The 1980s 1.3
    • The 1990s 1.4
    • The final years 1.5
  • Destinations 2
  • Fleet 3
  • Accidents and incidents 4
    • Accidents involving fatalities 4.1
    • Incidents involving fatalities 4.2
    • Non-fatal hull-losses 4.3
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • Citations 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9

History

The early years

Air Afrique was originally conceived in February 1960 (1960-02) as a joint subsidiary of Air France and Union Aéromaritime de Transport (UAT) to take over the regional services these airlines had operated in Africa.[12] The objective was the creation of a comprehensive network of internal air services within the countries that co-owned Air Afrique as well as international air services within Africa and beyond. The new company was registered in September 1960 as Air Afrique (Société de Transports Aériens en Afrique).[13]:933 During the first conference of Francophone countries that was held in Abidjan in October 1960 (1960-10), the Ivorian president Felix Houphouët Boigny recommended the constitution of a multinational airline for these countries. Eleven heads of state that attended to the next conference, held at Brazzaville in December the same year, agreed to form the company. Gambia, Ghana and Mali decided to stay away from the project, as they had plans for setting up their own airlines with the aid from the Soviets. The formation of the company took place during the third conference, held at Yaoundé in early 1961: Air Afrique (Société de Transports Aériens en Afrique) changed its name to Société pour le Développement du Transport Aérien en Afrique (SODETRAF); the eleven countries and SODETRAF would set up the new airline.[14] The Treaty of Yaoundé, signed on 1961-3-28,[14] founded Air Afrique as a joint venture between Air France and UAT, each of which had a 17% holding,[12][13]:933[15] while the eleven newly independent former French colonies in West Africa, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mauritania, Niger, the Republic of the Congo and Senegal,[16] contributed with the remaining 66% of the capital,[12] estimated in 500 millions of CFA francs.[14]

Air Afrique Douglas DC-6B at Manchester Airport in 1963

Cheikh Fall was appointed as the first CEO of the company on 25 June 1961 (1961-06-25).[17] It started operations on 1 August 1961 (1961-08-01) serving internal routes with 12 leased DC-4s from Air France and UAT.[13]:933[18] On 15 October 1961 (1961-10-15), an Air France Lockheed Constellation that flew the ParisPort EtienneDakar–Abidjan–CotonouDouala route on behalf of the company inaugurated the long-haul operations.[13]:933 Pressurised Douglas DC-6 aircraft were added to the fleet in the early 1960s, also leased from UAT.[19]:552 On 5 January 1962 (1962-01-05), the carrier deployed Boeing 707s, leased from Air France, on the Paris–Dakar–Abidjan and the Paris–Douala–Brazzaville runs; these were the first jet aircraft introduced on the carrier's intercontinental routes.[20] Two DC-8s were the first jets ordered by the airline in December the same year.[13]:933 Also in 1962, the carrier became a member of the International Air Transport Association.[21]

In January 1963 (1963-01), Cheikh Fall was appointed general manager of the company.[14]

  • Air Afrique (French) (Archive)
  • Rescue plan for Air Afrique BBC
  • Air Afrique's Fall to Earth; Politics Has Bankrupted the Soaring Dream of 11 African Nations
  • INTERNATIONAL REPORT; Air Afrique Warns Debtors
  • African Airlines Go Trans-Atlantic
  • Marie Louise GUEYE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. AIR AFRIQUE, Defendant-Appellee
  • Leonard TCHOKPONHOVE, Plaintiff, v. AIR AFRIQUE, Defendant.
  • Google Groups - History of Air Afrique
  • Terrorism Knowledge Database - Hezbollah attacked Airports & Airlines target (July 24, 1987, Congo (Brazzaville))

External links

  • Guttery, Ben R. (1998). Encyclopedia of African Airlines. Jefferson, North Carolina 28640: Mc Farland & Company, Inc.  

Bibliography

  1. ^ 1999 Air Afrique Commercial (in French).  
  2. ^ a b c MacKenzie, Christina (19–25 February 2002). "Air Afrique reaches end of the line".  
  3. ^ a b c
    • "Directory: world airlines – Air Afrique (page 45)".  
    • "Directory: world airlines – Air Afrique (page 46)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Air Afrique loses half its fleet".  
  5. ^ a b "Air Afrique finally goes bust". BBC News. 7 February 2002. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Airline with 11 owners".  
  7. ^ "Air Afrique Timetable September/October 1969 – Frontcover and Backcover". Airline Timetable Images. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  8. ^ French, Howard W. (17 December 1995). "In Africa, Many National Airlines Fly on a Wing and a Prayer".  
  9. ^ a b Doyle, Mark (11 January 2002). "Hopes rise for new Air Afrique".  
  10. ^ "New airline for West Africa".  
  11. ^ Bamford, David (15 August 2001). "Air Afrique wound up".  
  12. ^ a b c "World airline survey... – Air Afrique".  
  13. ^ a b c d e
    • Davies, R. E. G. (2 June 1966). "Airline Profile – Air France".  
    • "Airline Profile – Air France (page 933)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
    • "Airline Profile – Air France (page 934)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
    • "Airline Profile – Air France (page 935)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Guttery (1998), p. 81.
  15. ^ "Some independent/national airlines partnership—France – UAT".  
  16. ^ a b c d Onishi, Norimitsu (20 June 2001). "Troubles Tarnish a Once-Shining African Airline".  
  17. ^ a b "Cheikh Fall, premier PDG d'Air Afrique" [Cheikh Fall, first Air Afrique CEO] (in French). Jeune Afrique. 19 November 2006. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "World Airline Directory – Air Afrique". Flight International 157 (4722): 57. 4–10 April 2000.  
  19. ^
    • "The world's airlines – Air Afrique (page 551)".  
    • "The world's airlines – Air Afrique (page 552)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Air Afrique Jet Services".  
  21. ^ "IATA Membership Changes" (pdf). Flight International: 999. 28 June 1962. Retrieved 1 May 2011. Air Afrique has now joined IATA, becoming the 15th African airline to do so. 
  22. ^ a b c d
    • "United we fall, divided we fall (page 38)".  
    • "United we fall, divided we fall (page 39)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. 
    • "United we fall, divided we fall (page 40)". Flight International. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "World airline directory – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multionationale)".  
  24. ^ a b c d e f Guttery (1998), p. 84.
  25. ^ a b "World airline directory – Air Afrique (Société Aeriénne Africaine Multinationale)".  
  26. ^ a b "World Airline Survey – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)".  
  27. ^ "Air commerce – Union de Transports Aeriens".  
  28. ^ "Air transport – The eleven member countries".  
  29. ^ Guttery (1998), p. 81–82.
  30. ^ a b c d e Guttery (1998), p. 82.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Guttery (1998), p. 83.
  32. ^ "World airline survey – Air Afrique".  
  33. ^ "Convertible Caravelle airborne".  
  34. ^ "Air transport".  
  35. ^ "Atlas uniting on DC-10".  
  36. ^ "World airlines 1970 – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)".  
  37. ^ "World airline directory – Cameroon Airlines".  
  38. ^ "World airline directory – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multionatinale)".  
  39. ^ "World airline survey – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)".  
  40. ^ "World airline directory – Air Afrique(Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)".  
  41. ^ a b "Airliner market".  
  42. ^ "Airliner market" (pdf).  
  43. ^ "Airliner market".  
  44. ^ "Air transport".  
  45. ^ "World airline directory – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)".  
  46. ^ a b "Air Afrique celebrates jubilee with profit".  
  47. ^ "Air Afrique struggles to control costs".  
  48. ^ "Air transport – Air Afrique gets new head".  
  49. ^ a b c d e Dzisah, Melvin (7 July 1998). "Africa: Air Afrique Hands Over Four Airbuses To Creditors".  
  50. ^ a b Sedbon, Gilbert (18 February 1989). "Air Afrique salvage plan welcomed".  
  51. ^ a b "Air Afrique shows profit after recovery".  
  52. ^ a b c Guttery (1998), p. 85.
  53. ^
    • "World airline directory – Air Afrique (Societe Aerienne Africaine Multinationale)".  
    • "World airline directory – Air Afrique (Societe Aerienne Africaine Multinationale)". Flight International: 49. Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. 
  54. ^ "New in brief – Air Afrique A310s".  
  55. ^ Sedbon, Gilbert (2–8 October 1991). "Air France plans UTA break down" (pdf). Flight International: 4. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  56. ^ Sedbon, Gilbert (24–30 January 1990). "UTA take-over makes Air France Europe's second-favourite airline" (pdf). Flight International: 10. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  57. ^ "Airline Business 100 - 1994". Flightglobal.com.  
  58. ^ Georges, Dupuy (13 May 1999). "Air Afrique peut-elle redécoller?" [Will Air Afrique resurge?] (in French).  
  59. ^ a b "Air Afrique in crisis again".  
  60. ^ "A310 seizure forces Afrique suspension".  
  61. ^ a b c "West African optimist".  
  62. ^ Cameron, Doug (1 December 1997). "Turn off the TAP".  
  63. ^ French, Howard W. (21 March 1996). "Revenue and Hope Ebb At West Africa's Airline".  
  64. ^ "DHL invests".  
  65. ^ Coulibaly, Aly (18 June 2013). "Africa: Air Afrique On The Path Of Recovery".  
  66. ^ "Africa: Air Afrique in Partnership With World Bank".  
  67. ^ a b Pilling, Mark (1 March 2001). "Crisis managers set to rescue debt-laden Air Afrique".  
  68. ^ "Air Afrique's mayday call".  
  69. ^ Warburton, Simon (19 June 2001). "Air Afrique appeals to Air France".  
  70. ^ a b "Air France to up stake in ailing Air Afrique".  
  71. ^ a b "Air Afrique est en bout de piste" [Air Afrique on the ropes] (in French).  
  72. ^ "Air Afrique rescue bid".  
  73. ^ a b Cauvin, Henri E. (4 August 2002). "Wanted: An Airline For All of Africa".  
  74. ^ "Kenya Airways targets Tanzania".  
  75. ^ Blunt, Elizabeth (26 November 2001). "A striking end for Air Afrique".  
  76. ^ "Air Afrique takes first Airbus A330-200 on lease for fleet upgrade".  
  77. ^ "Air Afrique Historical Fleet". AeroTransport Data Bank. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  78. ^ a b c d e f g "World Airline Directory – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)" (pdf). Flight International: 900. 10 April 1976. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  79. ^ a b c "World Airline Directory – Air Afrique (Société Aérienne Africaine Multinationale)" (pdf). Flight International: 467. 26 March 1970. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  80. ^ "Accident record for Air Afrique". Aviation Safety Network. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  81. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-6B F-BIAO Mt. Cameroon". Aviation Safety Network. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  82. ^ "Air Afrique Accident" (pdf). Flight International: 665. 9 May 1963. Retrieved 1 May 2011. An Air Afrique DC-6 crashed some minutes after taking off from Douala for Lagos on May 4. Of the 48 passengers and seven crew on board, there were hopes that two passengers might have survived. 
  83. ^ Air Afrique Hijacking description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 22 July 2011.
  84. ^ a b c "Swiss Give Life Term To a Lebanese Man In a Fatal Hijacking". The New York Times. 25 February 1989. Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  85. ^ a b c d Netter, Thomas (27 July 1987). "Swiss Fear Terrorism After Hijack Capture".  
  86. ^ a b c d e Roberts, Katherine; Freudenheim, Milt; Clarity, James F. (26 July 1987). "Lebanese Hijacker Captured After Killing Passenger". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  87. ^ Accident description for TT-DAA at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 23 July 2011.

Citations

  1. ^ a b The year for the withdrawal of Gabon was also informed to be 1977.[23][24]
  2. ^ SODETRAF was 75%-owned by UTA, while the remaining stake was held by Air France; this resulted in SODETRAF acquiring a 28% stake in the airline under a 15-year agreement, whereas the remaining 72% was held by the member states.[28]

Notes


See also

Non-fatal hull-losses

  • 1987-7-24: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 operating Flight 56,[83] an international scheduled Brazzaville–Rome–Paris service was hijacked while flying over Milan by a Shiite, Lebanese, 21-year-old man named Hussein Ali Mohammed Hariri, member of the Party of God.[84][85][86] There were 148 passengers –64 of them French– and 15 crew members on board.[86] The hijacker demanded the release of two of his brothers imprisoned on terrorism charges in West Germany, one of whom was accused of hijacking the TWA Flight 847 in 1985, and also to be flown to Beirut.[85][86] While refuelling at Geneva International Airport, a French passenger was shot to death by Hariri,[85][86] as a sign of his determination after his demands were not met. During a moment of distraction, some of the passengers on board managed to escape from the jetliner using the rear doors; a steward that jumped on Hariri was shot and injured by him.[84][85][86] After a standoff the aircraft was stormed by the Swiss police and the hijacker was overpowered.[84]

Incidents involving fatalities

Accidents involving fatalities

According to Aviation Safety Network, Air Afrique experienced seven accidents/incidents; only two of them led to fatalities.[80]

Accidents and incidents

The airline historically operated a wide variety of aircraft:[6][76][77]

An Air Afrique Douglas DC-8-63CF at Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1980.

Fleet

At its heyday, the airline operated an extensive network within Central and Western Africa, as well as flights to Europe and North America. The scheduled network at the time of closure comprised 22 destinations: Abidjan, Athens, Bamako, Bangui, Banjul, Brazzaville, Casablanca, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Geneva, Libreville, Lomé, Marseille, N'Djamena, New York, Niamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Paris, Point Noire, and Rome.[3]:46

Destinations

At April 2000 (2000-04), the carrier had 4,440 employess, the fleet comprised one Antonov An-12, two Airbus A300-600Rs, three Airbus A300B4-200s, two Airbus A310-300s, two Boeing 707-320Cs, five Boeing 737-300s and a Boeing 767-300ER, whereas two Airbus A330-200s were on order. At the same time, the route network included Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Accra, Athens, Bamako, Bangui, Banjul, Beirut, Bissau, Bordeaux, Brazzaville, Casablanca, Conakry, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Geneva, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Lagos, Libreville, Lisbon, Lome, Malabo, Marseille, Monrovia, Nairobi, Ndjamena, New York, Niamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Paris, Pointe Noire, Rome and Zürich.[18] In January 2001 (2001-01), Jeffrey Erickson, former CEO of Trans World Airlines, attempted to re-structure the heavily indebted carrier, backed by both a consultancy and a World Bank grant, setting up a 14-month privatisation plan.[67] At that time schedules were commonly missed as the airline was suffering a lack of equipment.[67] By June 2001 (2001-06), Air Afrique still ranked among the top five African airlines alongside EgyptAir, Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc and South African Airways but debts had risen to US$431 million.[68] Later that year, the airline appealed to the French carrier Air France –still a minor shareholder in Air Afrique– for negotiation capacity.[69] Air France became the major shareholder of the company when its holding was raised to 35% after a cash injection.[70] The eleven African Governments reduced its participation in Air Afrique to 22%, 5% belonged to the employees, and the remaining stake were owned by other investors.[70] The plan Air France had in mind was to close down Air Afrique and set up a new airline using the same name.[71][72] Despite this, Air Afrique went out of business in January 2002 (2002-01),[73] in the wake of the downturn in the aviation industry created by the 2001-09-11 attacks, and was never revived. Less than a year earlier the company had about 4,600 employees to service a fleet of just six planes;[71] at the time of closure, it had one leased operative aircraft,[2][5][9] and partly owned Air Burkina (17%), Air Mali (11.5%) and Air Mauritanie (32%).[3]:45 The carrier was declared bankrupt on 7 February 2002 (2002-02-07).[2][73][74] Air France took over most of Air Afrique routes.[75]

The final years

Billecart left Air Afrique in 1997 and was succeeded by Sir Harry Tirvangadum, a Mauritian national, as Director General.[65] Billecart's management was plagued of accusations. He claimed he failed to restructure the company due to the excessive interference from the governments that owned it, whereas employees accused him of worsening Air Afrique's financial position by acquiring four Airbus A310-300s. Tirvangadum reduced the debts to just 31 billion CFA francs. From all the member states, only Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Senegal provided their quota from a total of 20 billion CFA francs that were necessary to alleviate the financial difficulties of the carrier at that time.[49] During Tirvangandum's mandate, Air Afrique entered a partnership with the World Bank,[66] which aimed operations to be restricted to Africa.[49] In July 1998 (1998-07), the carrier reduced its fleet from 15 to 11 when four Airbus A310-300s were returned to the creditors.[49] Late that year, debts rose to about US$300,000,000 ($434,075,133 in 2015).[61] By that time, eleven countries on the CFA zone were the major shareholders of the airline (70.4%), African and French investors had a participation of 13.7%, Air France had a 12.2% stake, and DHL owned 3.2%.[61]

The first Airbus A310-304 entered the fleet in 1991.[52] In 1994 the fleet comprised 12 aircraft and the carrier had more than 4,200 employees.[57] Cash position dramatically worsened that year after a 50% devaluation of the CFA franc, a situation that led to the seizure of a fourth of the fleet, due to debt defaults, in the forthcoming years.[58][59][60] Subsequently, the already indebted company had to lease in order to revert the lack of equipment.[6][59] It nevertheless suspended,[18] or reduced the frequency on some routes,[61] and codeshared others.[62] During 1995, the airline transported 761,000 passengers, losing US$19,000,000 ($29,406,639 in 2015).[63] Also in 1995, DHL started participating into the airline.[64]

At March 1990 (1990-03) the fleet consisted of three Airbus A300B4, one McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63F and three DC-10-30.[53]:49 In mid-1990, an order was placed with Airbus for four Airbus A310-300s plus four more options, with deliveries starting in mid-1992.[54] In 1990 Air France became UTA's controlling shareholder.[55][56] This resulted in UTA's stake in Air Afrique passing into Air France's hands.

An Air Afrique Airbus A310-300 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1991. That year the carrier received the first aircraft of the type.[52]

The 1990s

By the late 1980s, Air Afrique had accumulated debts for over 200 billion CFA francs.[49] The consortium members (Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo)[50] sought assistance from France.[16] On 2 March 1989,[51] Rolland Bidecart, a high-ranking official of the French government,[16] entered the company,[49] becoming the first non-African chairman and CEO of Air Afrique with plans to keep the company afloat that included the reduction of the workforce by 2,000.[50] The company carried 710,498 passengers in 1988 and recorded an FRF 288 million net loss for the year, whereas an FRF 7.3 million (US$1.3 million) net profit was posted the following year, with 754,314 passengers carried.[51] The workforce was cut by 1,600 in June 1989. The new management lobbied to restrict foreign airlines to serve the member countries in order for Air Afrique to take advantage of this situation.[24] Agadez was made part of the route network in the fall of 1989. For a short period of time starting in late 1989, a 302-seater Lockheed L-1011, a 137-seater Boeing 737 and a Boeing 707 Freighter were leased from American Trans Air, Aeromaritime and Naganagani, respectively, in order to supplement the fleet.[52]

The carrier began a steep decline during the decade, just after the ″Africanisation″ of the airline, i.e. Africans holding all top positions, was completed. Since that time, overbooked flights became frequent, tickets reserved for the member states were never paid, and schedules were missed to such an extent that some flights arrived half a day later or even departed ahead of schedule without any explanation.[16] Losses mounted to FRF 68 million and FRF 6,8 million for 1983 and 1984, respectively; by contrast, the carrier made an FRF 17.6 million (US$2.47 million) profit during 1985. The number of passengers carried that year was 757,000, a 9.5% increase from the previous year.[46] Largely due to the acquisition of new aircraft or wet-leasing equipment from other companies, at early 1985 the carrier had a total debt of US$250 million, with approximately a fifth of this amount being unpaid contributions from the member states. Director-general Koffi Aoussou also attributed the losses to the rise in fuel prices (Air Afrique spent US$35 million in fuel in 1978 and almost US$63 million in 1984), to overstaffing, to the increase in competition (mainly from UTA in the European routes), and to poor performance of the member countries' economies.[47] During 1985, Auxence Ickonga, former head of the Congolese state-owned oil company Hydrocongo, succeeded Ivorian Aoussou Koffi as president and director general of the airline with plans to reduce salaries, shrink the 5,600-strong staff by 515, and to sell a Boeing 747 for US$60 million in order to make the company economically viable.[48] By July 1986 (1986-07), the debt-to-equity ratio was 8:1, with obligations rising to FRF 1,800 million. At the same time, the fleet comprised three A300s, two Boeing 727s (one chartered from Air France and the other from JAT), two DC-8s and three DC-10s; the Boeing 747 cargo that Ickonga intended to sell to alleviate the financial crisis was acquired by Korean Air Lines for US$60 million.[46]

An Air Afrique Airbus A300B4-200 just departed from Geneva International Airport in 1982. The type was first ordered in 1979.[41]

At July 1980 (1980-07), the airline had 5,100 employees and a fleet that comprised a pair of Caravelle 10Rs, three DC-8-50s, two DC-8-50Fs, one DC-8-63 and three DC-10-30s that served 22 African nations and intercontinental routes to Bordeaux, Geneva, Lyon, Marseilles, Nice, New York, Paris, Rome and Zurich. Three aircraft (an Airbus A300B4, an Airbus A310 and a Boeing 747-200F) were on order.[45] A DC-8-55F was sold in 1981 ahead of the incorporation of new aircraft; that year, three Airbus A300s, a Boeing 747-200C and the third DC-10-30 named Niamey joined the fleet. The airline had to sell three Caravelles and two DC-8-63s to counter the financial difficulties that arose from the decline of passengers carried in 1983. On 1 March 1984, a Boeing 747-200F was leased to National Airlines, which in turn sub-leased the aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines. Business class was introduced on most of the aircraft during 1984.[24]

A McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in 1980. The airline received the first aircraft of the type in 1973.[44] With registration TU-TAM and named ″Cotonou″, this particular aircraft was the second DC-10-30 the company received, in 1976.[24]

The 1980s

At March 1975 (1975-03), the workforce had grown to 3,726 and the carrier's fleet comprised three Caravelles (one 10R and two 11Rs), one DC-3, five DC-8s (one DC-8-63CF, one DC-8-30 and three DC-8-50s) and a DC-10-30.[40] In August, a third DC-8-55F was purchased. The second DC-10-30, ″Cotonou″, joined the fleet in 1976; prior to incorporation, the aircraft had been delivered in June 1975 (1975-06) and leased to Thai International Airways.[24] In 1976,[nb 1] Gabon left the consortium and formed Air Gabon;[22]:39 Sierra Leone was incorporated in 1978.[25] A third DC-10-30 was ordered in 1977 and a Boeing 747-200C in 1978.[24] In 1979, the company placed an order with Airbus for one Airbus A300B4, intended to fly the Dakar–Paris route, and two Airbus A310s;[41] the order was later homogenised to include three A300B4s.[42] A Boeing 747F was also ordered that year.[43]

During 1971, a third Caravelle was incorporated into the fleet,[31] and the regional headquarters for Central Africa were moved from Douala, Cameroon to Libreville in Gabon.[39] The moved angered Chadian president François Tombalbaye, who also threatened to withdraw support to the multinational enterprise in 1972, something that finally did not occur. The carrier joined the Air France reservation system in 1973. The first wide-bodied DC-10-30, named ″Libreville″, was delivered on 28 February 1973 (1973-02-28), arriving in Dakar on 2 March. Starting 13 March, the type replaced the DC-8s on the Paris–BordeauxNouakchott–Dakar, Paris–Dakar–Abidjan, Paris–Fort Lamy–Dakar–Brazaville, Paris–MarseillesNiameyCotonou–Abidjan routes in a gradual manner. Late in 1973, a fourth Caravelle was acquired from Royal Jordanian Airlines and a Douglas DC-8-55F entered the fleet.[31] Cheikh Fall was succeeded by Aoussou Koffi at the head of the company in 1974.[17]

A Douglas DC-8-30 at Euroairport in 1978. The DC-8 entered the fleet in 1963.[14]

[38] Air Afrique started flights to

The company ordered two McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30s in February 1970 (1970-02), boosting the order with one more aircraft of the type the same year.[35] Amid increasing tourism in Africa, in March the same year the airline acquired a 51% stake in Société de Développement Hôtelier & Touristique en Afrique d l'Ouest; Air Afrique also held interests in tourist agencies.[31] At April the same year, the number of employees was 3,370 and the aircraft park stood at three DC-8s, one DC-8F, two Caravelle 11Rs, one DC-3 and four DC-4s.[36] In December 1970 (1970-12), a DC-8-63CF entered the fleet and two NAMC YS-11As were purchased; these turboprop airliners were transferred to Air Ivoire in 1972.[31]

An Air Afrique Caravelle standing at Le Bourget Airport in 1977. A third aircraft of the type was delivered in 1971.[31]

The 1970s

Air Afrique received two Caravelle 11Rs, a mixed passenger-cargo version of the Caravelle 10R,[33] in September 1967 (1967-09).[34] Two DC-4s were sold at the time in order for the company to afford the costs of these new aircraft. The Caravelles were deployed on African routes, replacing the DC-6s. In 1968, another DC-8-50 joined the fleet. By then, the route network included 22 African countries, along with Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Paris in France, Geneva in Switzerland and New York in the United States (in agreement with Pan Am).[31]

By April 1965 (1965-04), Air Afrique had 2,500 employees. At this time, there were two DC-8-50s in service, along with three DC-4s and four DC-6s.[32] That month, the route to Paris, already stopping at Dakar and Geneva, began calling at Robertsfield. A month later, Air Afrique passengers started flying to the United States allocated on Pan Am flights. Also in 1965, the company ordered two Caravelles; a third DC-8, a convertible (DC-8F) one that would be used to increase cargo capacity, was ordered in July. In 1966, the DC-8F entered the fleet and the carrier started withdrawing the DC-6s from service.[30] Togo became the 12th state in joining the consortium in 1965,[26] but it was not until 1968 that this country held a participation in the carrier.[30] By the mid-1960s, the carrier took over the Air France and UTA maintenance facilities located at Dakar-Yoff Airport. There, the company carried out the maintenance for its aircraft (excluding the jet fleet) and also undertook maintenance works for foreign carriers, including Air Mauritanie and Air Senegal, and even for air forces of neighbour countries. Another maintenance centre was located at Douala Airport. However, major maintenance works were provided by UAT at Le Bourget Airport.[31]

[30] on a weekly basis.Geneva and in November, the Paris–Abidjan run started calling at United States, Air Afrique was authorised to connect several African countries with the (1964-04) In April 1964 [31] equipment.Starliner, commenced using Mecca flights, carrying pilgirms to Hajj Also in 1963, [30], following an agreement with UTA.(1963-11) Air Afrique became the owner of its entire fleet in November 1963 [30] late that month.Marseille the second aircraft of the type was handed over in January the next year, being deployed on the route to [29], and entered service a month later;(1963-10) The first DC-8 was delivered in October 1963 [nb 2][14]

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