Pan African but Togo-based carrier ASKY Airlines is expanding its fleet by leasing two Boeing MAX 8s from AerCap. These are used aircraft but will be the first MAX in the fleet that consists of 737NGs. The MAX 8s will be delivered in June through August. ASKY Airlines to lease two Boeing MAX 8s from AerCap.
Based in Lome (Togo), ASKY operates an extensive network to 26 destinations in Central Africa, West Africa, the East, and even South to Johannesburg. The airline is privately owned and was established by a group of banking institutions. This includes the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), The West African Development Bank (BOAD), and the ECOBANK Group (ETI) in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines.
The alliance with Ethiopian goes beyond this partnership. ASKY and Ethiopian also have a strategic partnership that includes the lease of aircraft. ASKY’s fleet consists of four Boeing 737-700s and seven -800s. One -700 and six -800s are leased from Ethiopian. The other aircraft are leased from AerCap, Avolon, and Air Lease Corporation.
In an AerCap media statement, ASKY CEO Esayas W. Hailu says: “I consider it an honor to introduce state-of-the-art B737-8 MAX aircraft into the ASKY fleet. This will support our wide regional network in our continuous endeavor to serve our esteemed customers. I am confident that the introduction of B737-8 MAX will further enhance ASKY’s brand image before the eyes of the traveling public. It feels great to be the region’s leading customer to AerCap, the world’s largest owner of commercial aircraft.”
For AerCap, ASKY is the fourteenth airline customer in Africa. ASKY is one of five African airlines in which Ethiopian acquired a stake to circumvent market access barriers in Africa’s heavily protected skies. It owns forty percent of the carrier, 49 percent of Guinea Airways, 49 percent of Malawi Airlines, 49 percent of Nigeria Air, and 45 percent of Zambia Airways.
(Additional reporting by Michael Wakabi)
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.