Air Côte d'Ivoire has taken delivery of its first Airbus A319 on lease from operating lessor Macquarie AirFinance.
The 2004-vintage aircraft, MSN 2213, was previously operated by Air France. A second aircraft, MSN 2228, currently leased to Air France from Macquarie AirFinance, will be subleased to Air Côte d'Ivoire.
Macquarie AirFinance's chief executive officer John Willingham says: "We are privileged to be involved in the re-establishment of the Ivoirian flag carrier. It took quite some time for all of the many aspects of this transaction to mature and I am finally delighted to be able to welcome Air Côte d'Ivoire as Macquarie AirFinance's newest customer."
The newly established national airline of the Ivory Coast will operate the aircraft in a 12-business and 96-economy seat configuration to routes to various West African destinations in partnership with Air Burkina & Air Mali.
Air Côte d'Ivoire was formed in May this year as a partnership between Air France (20%), the development agency Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (15%) and the government of Côte d'Ivoire (65%). Its of 2.5 billion CFA francs ($4.87 million) capitalisation is expected to rise in the short term to 25 billion CFA, according to Air France as the government's majority holding will subsequently fall to 51% following the capital raising programme.