SA Express to launch domestic airline in Congo


SA Express, the state-owned South African domestic and regional carrier, will start an airline to operate domestic flights in the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet increased demand in Africa’s second-biggest country.

SA Express will own 49 percent of the airline venture, called Congo Express and started with BizAfrika Congo, a local investment company, the Johannesburg-based carrier said in an e- mailed statement today. The airline will begin operating on Feb. 1 after four years of talks on the venture.

Congo Express will fly seven days a week between Lubumbashi and Kinshasa, the capital, and four times a week between Kinshasa and the diamond-producing center of Mbuji Mayi, it said.

“Next, we plan on growing the domestic routes to serve other airports within the Congo, followed by an extension of services beyond the borders of the Congo,” Didier Kindambu, managing director of Congo Express, said in the statement.

SA Express, which operates flights six days a week between Johannesburg and Lubumbashi, will be responsible for technical maintenance, the company said. It will continue operating flights along its routes in the country, SA Express said.