Air Burkina is using a high-gross-weight variant of the Airbus A319 to launch services between the country's capital Ouagadougou and Paris.

Airbus completed work on the ex-Swissair aircraft before delivery, to raise the maximum take-off weight to 75,000kg (165,200lb) and boost its payload/range.

The airline did not want to use an A319 Long Range variant for the service, says Air Burkina director general Mohamed Ghelala.

The twice-weekly service began late last month and could be joined by more European and regional services as the carrier expands, adds Ghelala.

The French-registered A319, which is financed through Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management, carries Celestair titles.

The launch of European services marks a departure for Air Burkina, which previously concentrated on regional domestic and international services with a fleet of two Fokker F28s. Burkina Faso's long-haul needs had been served by the now defunct African joint venture carrier Air Afrique, in which the country's goverment held a stake.


Source: Flight International