Korongo Airlines, the new airline being established in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Brussels Airlines in partnership with Georges Forrest International (GFI) and Congolese investors, has received the final authorizations it needed to begin operations. The airline has been ready to go for some time, with trained crews, a large maintenance hangar at Lubumbashi, and three aircraft fully painted – including two BAe 146s – but “administrative difficulties” delayed the granting of the necessary permits. The dam finally broke in January, with the airline receiving its operating permit on 12 January, an import license for its aircraft on 15 January, and approval for its proposed routes on 31 January. Korongo is planning to begin services in late March or April, initially with a Boeing 737 being used on the trunk routes to Kinshasa and Johannesburg, and a BAe 146 on regional routes. The second 146 will join the fleet later, as additional regional routes are added.
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