Air Senegal’s new Airbus A220-300 made its first commercial flight on Sunday 6 February 2022. The aircraft, registered 6V-AOA, was lined up on the route between Dakar and Yaoundé in Cameroon (flight SZN3043), as part of the series of special flights organised by the airline in conjunction with the final of the African Cup of Nations football tournament – won by Senegal.
This A220-300 (MSN 55089), the first of its type in the carrier’s fleet, was accepted on Wednesday 29 December 2021. Since then, it has been carrying out familiarisation test flights between Dakar and Banjul, flightradar reports. Air Senegal has configured it to accommodate 8 passengers in Business Class and 125 in Economy (133 seats). It is called “Niokolo Koba”. Its name “was given by the Head of State Macky Sall, who wants to pay tribute to eastern Senegal, a region rich in cultural heritage that has become a major tourist attraction over the years”.
This is the first of eight A220-300s – estimated at $732 million at list price – that Air Senegal is expecting as part of the letter of intent signed with Airbus at the 2019 Dubai Air Show. During the 2021 show (November), the Senegalese flag carrier reached an agreement with donor MacquarieAirFinance to finance five units of this order, with deliveries scheduled from 2023.
Air Senegal intends to use its A220-300 fleet to densify and expand its African and European network. As the aircraft are delivered, they will gradually replace the airline’s current single-aisle fleet. The airline now has a fleet comprising two A330-900s, two A321s, two A319s, one A220-300 and two ATR 72-600s.
Recall that the A220 was launched in Africa by Air Tanzania in December 2018 (it currently has four aircraft). The single-aisle aircraft has since joined Egyptair’s fleet in September 2019. The Egyptian carrier has 12 A220-300 aircraft, two of which are leased to private Nigerian carrier Ibom Air.