Korongo Airlines (Lubumbashi) is a new airline in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new venture is planning to operate scheduled passenger flights. The airline project is a joint-venture betweenBrussels Airlines (Brussels) and the Belgian multinational Groupe George Forrest International, with full technical support from Lufthansa (Frankfurt).
The name “Korongo” is a Swahili term for large migrating birds.
The first revenue flight is planned for the first quarter of this year from Lubumbashi and Kinshasa to Johannesburg. The airline will operate a pair of BAe 146-200s and one Boeing 737-300.
Brussels Airlines has been striving to create a subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a former Belgian colony, dating back to October 2007. At that time a joint venture with Hewa Bora Airways was announced, called airDC (Kinshasa). AirDC never launched any flights although this aircraft was painted in their colors.
On December 15, 2009, Brussels Airlines cancelled the airDC project and announced the launch of Korongo Airlines. The company was officially established on April 13, 2010.
Copyright Photo (above): Keith Burton. Brussels Airlines’ BAe 146-200 OO-MJE (msn E2192) was rolled out in this livery at Southend on February 1, 2011. It headed for Brussels. OO-MJE will operate two dedicated routes for Brussels Airlines out of Brussels for a few weeks before delivery to Africa.
Copyright Photo (below): Karl Cornil. BAe 146-200 OO-MJE when it was in the colors of non-starter airDC.