LONDON – Air Senegal has received its first Airbus A330neo, making it the first African airline to receive and operate the aircraft type.

The aircraft touched down at Blaise-Diagne International Airport in Dakar on January 31 to a press ceremony and delegates.

The carrier started operations in 2018 and placed an order for two of the units back at the Dubai Air Show in 2017 through a Memorandum of Understanding. It was firmed a year after.

At the time, the CEO of the carrier Philippe Bohn commented on this deal, stating it “demonstrates our ambitions for our new airline”.

“These A330neo aircraft will contribute to developing our medium and long-haul network. It is important for us to begin our commercial activities with aircraft that are both reliable and economical while offering our passengers unrivalled comfort,” he said.

Airbus were just as happy as well at the time.

“We are pleased to count Air Sénégal as a new customer. These A330neos will enable Air Sénégal to benefit from unbeatable economics and to offer its passengers an outstanding level of comfort and travel experience in its market,” said Fouad Attar Head of Commercial Aircraft Airbus Africa Middle East.

The aircraft is configured in a three-class set-up. It offers 32 seats in Business Class, 21 in Premium Plus, and 237 in Economy class.

The first aircraft will open up the airline’s brand new Dakar-Paris route and will be used to develop operations across the medium and long-haul network alike.

The aircraft also features the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, offering around a fuel consumption reduction of 25%, benefiting the carrier through fewer costs and further efficiency.

Photo: Clement Alloing

Ultimately, it is down now to Air Senegal to decide where else this aircraft will operate on, especially in the medium-haul network.

It provides further opportunity for new route openings as well, to connect areas of Europe and beyond with the African continent.

The two units will ultimately be a tester for Air Senegal’s success and whether any success down the line will be rewarded with further orders.