LONDON – The Algerian cabinet has given the green light for the expansion of Air Algerie.
These new aircraft will serve destinations in Africa and Asia as part of their growth and post-pandemic recovery.
The council of ministers said the following on this:
“[We] authorize the airline Air Algérie to acquire 15 planes for the opening of new routes, in particular to African and Asian countries, in addition to the purchase of ships for the transport of passengers, goods, and cereals.”
The latest move by the Algerian government is the largest fleet renewal effort since 2016, which witnessed the introduction of new Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s. However, the fleet renewal drive halted indefinitely in light of the pandemic.
The fleet renewal strategy could come at a hefty price tag of $1.7 billion, as part of its larger restructuring initiative, which involves dispersing the airline into separate entities.
The Algerian flag carrier pans to look into network possibilities before deciding on a particular aircraft suitable for long-haul operations. As of this moment, no specific aircraft type has been selected for this program.
Air Algérie’s fleet currently consists of 55 aircraft, eight Airbus A330-200s, 25 Boeing 737-800s, two Boeing 737-700s, five Boeing 737-600s, and 15 ATR 72s.
The average fleet age of the airline exceeds 14 years, with some older 737s approaching their end of serviceable life.
What are the options for Air Algerie?
The most suitable option for the airline is to replace their A330-200s with another fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft, such as the A330-900neo. The aircraft can fly to Asia and North America from Algiers efficiently.
There are two possible options for the renewal of the narrow-body fleet.
The A320NEO and the A321LRs are the best contenders for replacing the 737s, as the NEOs share the same type rating, therefore reducing training costs for the airline.
The Airbus A220s could also replace the smaller 737-600 variant.
Air Algerie currently flies to flies to 28 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, offering 44 international destinations and 35 domestic routes.
Opportunities for Air Algeria
The fleet renewal plan will allow the airline to venture into new markets, like Asia and Africa.
The airline’s financial situation has been in a dire state for years now, with the pandemic adding more problems to the airline. The airline has been relying on the Algerian state to bail out the airline.
With the airline wanting to expand to Africa, Algiers can be the next connecting airport between Europe and wider Africa, or at least compete with other airlines in the region, such as EgyptAir, Tunis Air, and Royal Air Maroc.
This could also bring tourism to the country, as the sector in Algeria makes up 3.9 percent of the volume of exports, 9.5 percent of the productive investment rate, and 8.1 percent of the gross domestic product.