Togo-based Africa West Cargo aims to expand its fleet and activities following the acquisition of a controlling stake in the airline by Dubai's GSA Global Investments.
The Dubai company was set up as an investment vehicle for aviation-related projects "and will primarily be directing Africa West in its future direction", said airline chairman Issa Baluch.
The two organisations have worked together on several previous projects, while Dubai-based Air Cargo Trader, an associate of Global Investments, is a long-time general sales agent of Africa West. The close relationship between the directors of the various companies led Global to take its stake in Africa West, said Baluch.
The future path of the airline was under discussion, he said; areas under study included renewing the fleet and boosting the capacity of the carrier's hub at Lome, the capital of Togo.
The airline currently operates a single Douglas DC-9F freighter for West African regional cargo flights, with a Cargoitalia Boeing MD-11 on an ACMI lease for weekly flights between Europe and Africa. It also charters an Airbus A300-600F when needed.
Africa West managing director Yannick Erbs said it intended to maintain the contract with Cargoitalia and it was planning to take two DC-9-30 freighters on lease from Dubai-based GV Aviation in September to step up its West African services. It was also looking at leasing a Boeing 757 to expand into medium-range services to east and southern Africa from the start of 2012.