Brussels Airlines BAe 146s to fly in Congo

Brussels Airlines BAe 146-200 OO-DJE

BAe 146-200 OO-DJE is the airline’s oldest (Björn Van Brussel)

Brussels Airlines has announced that they are forming a joint venture with Hewa Bora Airways to operate a new airline in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The as yet un-named airline would operate domestic and regional services, and offer connections to Brussels Airlines’ flights to Europe. Operations would begin in January 2008, initially with two BAe 146-200s and a Boeing 737 supplied by Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines would own a 49% share of the new airline through its wholly-owned Mauritius-based subsidiary, Pan African Airlines, with Hewa Bora owning the balance. Brussels Airlines have long been looking for ways to increase its presence in Africa. In 2006, while still known as SN Brussels Airlines, they had won a tender to form a new airline in Cameroon to take over from bankrupt Cameroon Airlines. Plans called for several of the airline’s BAe 146s to be used in the new operation. That deal was later rescinded by the government, however, and awarded to another investor (who eventually failed to come through, leaving the country without an airline). Brussels Airlines have also been involved in the bidding to set up a new airline in Rwanda. Significantly, none of the airline’s six BAe 146s have yet been repainted in the new colors, whereas almost all of their Avro RJ85 and RJ100 sisters have.

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