Congo Airline, China's Comac in Talks to Buy Three Aircraft

(Bloomberg) -- Societe Nouvelle Air Congo, a state-owned carrier, is in talks with Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. to buy three new aircraft as it prepares to begin offering regional flights, a director said.

The company, known as SN Air Congo, plans to acquire ARJ21s, Michael Gollo, head of quality, safety and security, said by phone Wednesday in the Republic of Congo’s capital, Brazzaville. The planes will add to its existing fleet of three Xi’an Aircraft Industry Group MA60s, he said.

SN Air Congo resumed domestic flights on Sept. 10, after halting flights earlier this year because of a lack of government funding. The new aircraft will be supplied to the carrier as part of an agreement reached between Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this month, Gollo said, without providing details.

The airline plans to introduce flights to neighboring Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo as it increases its fleet, Gollo said, without providing a timeframe. It currently flies to 13 domestic destinations, including the port city of Pointe Noire.

Fidel Doumou, Congo’s minister of transport and aviation, is in the Central African Republic to among other things discuss with the neighboring nation’s authorities plans for SN Air Congo to start plying the Bangui route, maritime transport on the Congo and Oubangui rivers and using the Pointe Noire port, according to Gollo.

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