Democratic Republic of Congo-based Korongo Airlines has received its air operator's certificate (AOC), according to a source close to the matter.
The start-up airline is a joint venture between Brussels Airlines and Belgian mining and construction company George Forrest, which has operations in Lubumbashi.
Korongo will be starting regional flights from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa and Johannesburg later this spring.
The Congolese carrier has signed a lease contract to operate two BAE Systems 146s and one Boeing 737-300, which are fully owned by Brussels Airlines. The three aircraft will be delivered to Korongo in the next few weeks, says the source.
Brussels Airlines and George Forrest have 51% and 49% stakes, respectively, in a holding company, which in turn owns 71% of Korongo. The remaining shares belong to local Congolese investors.