Search

 

Cablegate: Congo Express, a New Airline for the Drc

VZCZCXRO1054
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0102 0290717
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290716Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0102
INFO RWANDA COLLECTIVE
SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000102

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR EEB/TRA/AN (DANIEL HUTCHENS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR EINV ETRD ECON PGOV CG
SUBJECT: CONGO EXPRESS, A NEW AIRLINE FOR THE DRC

1. (U) Congo Express was launched on January 25 in association
with South African Express, part of South African Airways, and will
be based in Lubumbashi, Katanga Province. The new airline will
operate a fleet of CRJ200 aircraft and will initially provide
domestic connections between Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Mbuji-Mayi,
with future plans for service to Kisangani and additional cities.
Congolese Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources confirmed that
Congo Express is already registered with the DRC and will begin
operations shortly.

2. (U) Congo Express will be the first foreign-affiliated carrier
to provide regularly scheduled flights between Kinshasa and
Lubumbashi, the provincial capital of Katanga, the DRC's most
important cobalt and copper mining region and a key driver of
economic growth for the country. Many of the DRC's largest foreign
investors operating in the mining sector, including U.S. company
Freeport-McMoRan, have their mining operations in Katanga. Like
the U.S. and other Western embassies in Kinshasa, many
multinational companies restrict their expat employees from flying
on Congolese-owned and operated airlines. Thus, flying from
Kinshasa to Lubumbashi has required flying non-Congolese airlines,
such as Kenya Airways or South African Airways, both of which
necessitated transiting through a foreign country.

3. (SBU) Belgian airline SN Brussels has also requested permission
to operate domestic flights in the DRC, initially focused on the
Kinshasa-Lubumbashi route. In response, the CAA told SN Brussels
that it would be required to create a DRC-registered company before
permission is granted, according to Article 7 of Chapter 2 of the
Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944 (the Chicago
Convention). As of January 2010, SN Brussels has still not decided
whether to create a DRC-registered company and has not therefore
received authorization from the CAA to begin domestic service.
(Note: Econcouns was told by a contact at the Belgian Embassy that
SN Brussels would also require infrastructure upgrades to
Lubumbashi airport before they would consider flights to/from
Lubumbashi. End note).

4. (SBU) Comment: The Embassy's prohibition on the use of
Congolese-owned and operated airlines by employees under COM
authority has made more frequent travel to many key provinces in
the DRC difficult. The creation of Congo Express will offer a
convenient solution for embassy personnel who would like to travel
within the DRC. Foreign companies operating in Katanga and other
key provinces will no doubt also welcome this new option for
in-country commercial flights. End comment.
GARVELINK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>