Last year at the Farnborough Air show, Air Algérie ordered a pair of 737-700Cs – an odd choice, considering that only three of the aircraft have been ordered by non-military customers, according to our sister publication Cargo Facts. With the arrival of these two new aircraft, Air Algérie said it will officially launch a cargo subsidiary.
This is part of an overall, five-year fleet renewal plan that began in 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in2017. The announcement by CEO Mohamed Salah Boultif was made over the weekend at the Freedom Forum, hosted by the Liberté Algérie newspaper.
In a report by ch-Aviation, Boultif said that, in addition to the cargo subsidiary, the Algiers-based carrier may also launch a catering firm, ground-handling firm and an MRO, if approval is granted from the Algerian government’s state-enterprises regulatory commission. There is also talk of a low-cost carrier being added.
Once the new division is operational, the carrier plans to add cargo destinations, including the neglected West and Central African markets. Air Algérie is planning a U.S. debut at New York’s JFK Airport next year, as well.
The other non-military 737-700Cs that were ordered from Boeing have been sold to ARAMCO, which bought two of them in 2001, and Sonair of Angola, which bought one in 2008. They have historically been used for oil and gas operation, rather than for freight or passenger service. Air Algérie plans to use them for freighter operations around North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Find opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, the world’s most dynamic airfreight market, at Cargo Facts Asia, April 21-22 in Hong Kong. Get more information here.