Algeria's Tassili plans to build domestic network

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Algeria's Tassili Airlines is planning to expand into scheduled domestic operations within weeks, as it plots to build itself into a second major airline for the country.

Tassili recently signed up for hosting on information technology specialist Mercator's regional reservation system Avantik, said the airline's commercial director, Kamel Mezghiche, during the Arab Air Carriers Organization annual meeting in Algiers.

Mezghiche says the carrier, which is wholly-owned by state energy company Sonatrach, is to start scheduled domestic services by the end of December, while its niche oil industry operations are being put under its Tassili Travail Aerien subsidiary.

He says the airline will not clash with flag-carrier Air Algerie. "Our philosophy is not to compete, but to complete," says Mezghiche.

"Algeria is very big, I think there are not enough routes for people in [the country]."

Tassili uses a fleet of Boeing 737-800s as well as Bombardier Q400s and Q200s.

While the company believes it has enough aircraft for the regional expansion, its medium-term strategy to 2015 features a project involving acquisition of 100-seat and 70-seat types.