Air Cote D’Ivoire is set to become the third operator of the Airbus A330neo in Africa. The airline and Airbus announced an order for two A330-900s on October 25 after a signing ceremony in Toulouse. Air Cote D’Ivoire opts for Airbus A330-900 for long-haul plans.

The A330s mark new territory for the African airline, which until now operates only nine narrowbody aircraft: two A319s, two A320s, one A320neo, and four De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400s. But Air Cote D’Ivoire has serious expansion plans. It wants to operate the A330neo’s from its Abidjan hub to the US from late 2024 or early 2025, so this adds a whole new market to the airline’s network.

Deliveries of the two A330-900s with Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines is scheduled sometime in 2024. The cabin will seat 240 passengers in what seems a two-class configuration.

The aircraft are on direct order with Airbus, the reason why the country’s Minister of Transport Amadou Koné, Air Cote D’Ivoire President Abdoulaye Coulibaly, and CEO Laurent Loukou were invited to the ceremony. For Airbus, Philippe Muhn, Executive Vice President Programmes and Services, signed the contract. (main picture)

As AirInsight reported earlier this month, Air Cote D’Ivoire canceled two A319neo’s in September that it had on order since January 2019. Airbus confirms to us that there has been some sort of swap between the narrowbody and widebody aircraft, adding that the price of the widebodies is, of course, not the same.

Other operators of the A330neo in Africa are Air Senegal, which has two -900s, whereas Uganda Airlines has two -800s.

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Active as journalist since 1987, starting with regional newspaper Zwolse Courant. Grand Prix reporter in 1997 at Dutch monthly Formule 1, general reporter Lelystad/Flevoland at De Stentor/Dagblad Flevoland, from 2002 until June 2021 radio/tv reporter/presentor with Omroep Flevoland.
Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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