Mauritania launches new national airline
Sunday 01 May 2011
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Wednesday launched the country's new national airline, Mauritania Airlines, which will be entirely state funded.
Abdel Aziz took a short flight over the capital accompanied by school pupils to mark the launching of the airline, whose two predecessors sunk in 2008 and 2010 respectively due to a variety of difficulties.
"Entirely financed by the state, this company has a fleet of three Boeing 737s meeting international criteria, of which one has a capacity of 116 passengers and 108 for the two others," said company director Hassena Ould Ely.
"Mauritania Airlines aims to strengthen its fleet with the purchase of a new aircraft which will open up areas inside the country."
Mauritania Airlines was created in 2009 as part of a national strategy of air transport development and the expansion of trade in Africa and Europe, including France and Spain, according to its leaders.
"From the beginning of May, the company will serve several destinations in Africa as well as Paris and Las Palmas (Spain) through regular lines offering security and comfort to passangers," said Ould Ely.
In 2008 Air Mauritania, owned by the state as well as private shareholders, was declared bankrupt. This company was followed by Mauritania Airways which halted operations in December 2010 after being banned from European airspace.
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