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Korongo Airlines To Start In April  
User currently offlineJalap From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 355 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 8539 times:

The much-troubled Belgian-Congolese start-up Korongo Airlines can start operation in April, according to an article in the Belgian newspaper "De Morgen" (dutch only).

According to co-owner George Forrest, the airline now holds all licenses needed and is ready to start. Korongo is owned by Forrest and Brussels Airlines, to offer reliable and safe air services in Congo.

It's been a very long process to get this airline going, and much money has already been put into the project. Aircraft have been painted since early 2011. Let's hope they really can take off in April now  

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36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTomskii From Belgium, joined May 2011, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 8378 times:

They didnt say april though but this spring   source:Belga


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User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 8283 times:
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This article says March or April ( but the article also refers to flights from Lubumbashi to JNB via Kinshasa! which sounds extremely unlikely , flights from Kinshasa to JNB via Lubumbashi would seem more realistic.)

http://www.dhnet.be/infos/belgique/a...ls-airlines-atterrit-au-congo.html

If this really does happen it will be an exciting development, but as with anything in the RDC, it is best to wait and see.



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineTomskii From Belgium, joined May 2011, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 8219 times:

We'll see how it goes, looking forward to it! Although it will be sad to not see those korongo tails land on BRU


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User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7810 times:
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Quoting Tomskii (Reply 3):
We'll see how it goes, looking forward to it! Although it will be sad to not see those korongo tails land on BRU

Who know, if this goes well then maybe one day, in 10 years or so, you will see a Korongo tail on an A350 landing at BRU on a regular basis  



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4004 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7753 times:
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Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 2):
but the article also refers to flights from Lubumbashi to JNB via Kinshasa! which sounds extremely unlikely

Korongo's hub is in Lubumbashi.



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User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7723 times:
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Quoting blueflyer (Reply 5):
oting kiwiandrew (Reply 2):
but the article also refers to flights from Lubumbashi to JNB via Kinshasa! which sounds extremely unlikely

Korongo's hub is in Lubumbashi.

I realise that... but if you re-read what I wrote, and look at a map you will see that the idea ( as stated in the article ) of flying from Lubumbashi to JNB via Kinshasa is clearly nuts. It would be a bit like saying that UA can fly people from Houston to Miami via Seattle instead of saying that UA could fly people from Seattle to Miami via Houston.



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User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4004 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7555 times:
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Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 6):
the idea ( as stated in the article ) of flying from Lubumbashi to JNB via Kinshasa is clearly nuts.

It is nuts if you try and use Europe or North America as an example, but it isn't for Africa.

There aren't that many options still for intra-Africa flights, exactly the reason why Korongo is being launched.

SAA flies from FBM to JNB 5 times a week. If you want to travel on the other two days, or cannot make the SAA flight for some reason, the current alternatives are NBO and ADD, both of which further away than FIH.

There are still cities in Africa where sometimes the best connection is through CDG or BRU, so Kinsasha isn't bad at all.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6996 times:

A very beautiful and elegant livery! Best of luck..


Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6674 times:

According to this report on an African website everything was fast tracked after presidents Kabilla's senior advisor Mr. Augustin Katumba Mwanke died in a crash last week. Apparently it was Katumba who blocked the start of the new airline due to the fact that other companies complained to him that they would need to invest heavily to achieve the same level of safety as Korongo Airlines (Korongo Airlines is considered a safe airlines as it will be practically run by Brussels Airlines (the planes will be wetleased with Brussels Airlines pilots, maintenance will be done by Brussels Airlines and safety audits will be done by the Belgian government as it are Belgian planes on a Belgian register flying in Congo).

The story of how one man's unfortunately dead can unblock everything...

More information (in French):

http://africaboyebi.blogspot.com/201...ans-le-ciel-congolais-katumba.html


User currently offlinesbon From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6395 times:

Hasn't Korongo been black-listed by the EU because SN decided that the maintenance would still be performed in Lubumbashi?

User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6350 times:

Quoting sbon (Reply 10):
Hasn't Korongo been black-listed by the EU because SN decided that the maintenance would still be performed in Lubumbashi?

Korongo is blacklisted because Korongo has a Congolose AOC. All airlines registered in the DRC are blacklisted, it doesn't matter if they have brandnew planes or flying DC-3's or anything between for example. DRC = automatic blacklist. Not that the blacklist is of any meaning since they don't fly to the EU but since Korongo really want to change things in the DRC they decided to get aircraft under ACMI contract from Brussels Airlines. Flights will technically be operated by Brussels Airlines on behalf of Korongo Airlines (under the Korongo brand). Wetter it's a temporarily solution or not remains to be seen, as long as the EU says that the DRC isn't capable to maintain safety regulations and oversee airlines to follow those safety rules I guess all planes used by Korongo will be on foreign register (Most likely Belgium).

So yes, Korongo is indeed blacklisted by the EU but flights will be operated by Brussels Airlines  

With Korongo we can seen Brussels Airlines go back to the roots of their predecessor Sabena who flew also in Congo (and Africa)... This time it's only done under another brand.


User currently offlineKL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days ago) and read 5926 times:

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 9):
Katumba who blocked the start of the new airline due to the fact that other companies complained to him that they would need to invest heavily to achieve the same level of safety as Korongo Airlines
Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 9):
Mr. Augustin Katumba Mwanke died in a crash last week

   Could there be any greater irony?


User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5759 times:

Quoting KL577 (Reply 12):
Could there be any greater irony?

Exactly what I thought.


User currently offlinemigair54 From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 1735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

Where are they planning to fly and how many planes do they operate initially??

Any international flight?? Maybe NBO, JNB, LOS??


User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5555 times:

Quoting migair54 (Reply 14):
Any international flight?? Maybe NBO, JNB, LOS??

First routes:

Lubumbashi (FBM) - Kinshasa (FIH) - daily - B733
Lubumbashi (FBM) - Johannesburg (JNB) - daily - B733

Soon to be followed by:

Lubumbashi (FBM) - Mbuji Mayi (MJM) - ? - BAE146
Lubumbashi (FBM) - Kolwezi (KWZ) - ? - BAE146

Exact schedules yet unknown as are further plans.


User currently offlineETinCaribe From Ethiopia, joined Dec 2009, 734 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5363 times:

Good news and best of luck to Korongo!!

If any one country in Africa needs a safe and reliable carrier, it is the DRC, so this is definitely a step in the right direction.


User currently offlinemigair54 From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 1735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5180 times:

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 9):
due to the fact that other companies complained to him that they would need to invest heavily to achieve the same level of safety as Korongo Airlines

Amazing excuse to block an company to operate... because it´s TOO SAFE much more than the others....... Only in Africa!!!!!!

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 15):
First routes:

Lubumbashi (FBM) - Kinshasa (FIH) - daily - B733
Lubumbashi (FBM) - Johannesburg (JNB) - daily - B733

Soon to be followed by:

Lubumbashi (FBM) - Mbuji Mayi (MJM) - ? - BAE146
Lubumbashi (FBM) - Kolwezi (KWZ) - ? - BAE146

It looks nice to start up.... So i guess the schedule to FIH will be such that they can connect with SN flights...


User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5161 times:

Now it's only waiting for the schedules, the launch of the site and more info from ZC themself. I guess we know more in a couple of weeks.

User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 18):
Amazing excuse to block an company to operate... because it´s TOO SAFE much more than the others....... Only in Africa!!!!!!

Maybe only in Congo?   There are plenty of other countries in the African continent where something like this wouldn't happen.


User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5059 times:

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 19):
Maybe only in Congo? There are plenty of other countries in the African continent where something like this wouldn't happen.

To be fair, there are plenty of countries, and not only in Africa, where the local incumbent airlines would lobby against a well-financed new entrant coming with substantial foreign support.

If you view the situation that way, it is not something limited to corrupt fiefs and banana republics, but it will also happen in the developed world.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5031 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 7):

Same with south America to the US. Its sometimes quicker "apparently" to fly via the uk, or so it seems.


User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5009 times:

Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 9):
Apparently it was Katumba who blocked the start of the new airline due to the fact that other companies complained to him that they would need to invest heavily to achieve the same level of safety as Korongo Airlines (Korongo Airlines is considered a safe airlines as it will be practically run by Brussels Airlines (the planes will be wetleased with Brussels Airlines pilots, maintenance will be done by Brussels Airlines and safety audits will be done by the Belgian government as it are Belgian planes on a Belgian register flying in Congo).

You're kidding right? Can you seriously block an airline from entering service because it's "too safe"? Most govt's would fall head over heels to pass a "too safe" airline.



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

According to the latest information ZC will start ops on April 16, 2012. They'll start with 8x weekly flights between FBM and FIH and 2x weekly flights between FBM & JNB.

More on:

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/art...to-the-skies-next-month-2012-03-07


In the mean time, the Congolese website 7sur7.cd published an very negative article about Korongo and the fact that they aren't compliant with international regulations because they operate planes that are 20 years old and this is (according to 7sur7) against ICAO regulations...

The article (in French and allready archived on the site): http://7sur7.cd/index.php?option=com...-vol-de-la-mort-&catid=6:congonews


User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7613 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4381 times:

Is this just duff journalism, or is there more to it?.

User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 25, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4422 times:
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Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 23):
In the mean time, the Congolese website 7sur7.cd published an very negative article about Korongo and the fact that they aren't compliant with international regulations because they operate planes that are 20 years old and this is (according to 7sur7) against ICAO regulations...

Even though my French is pretty poor I was still left rolling on the floor laughing at this piece of 'journalism'. If aircraft older than 20 years of age are banned perhaps ICAO needs to get tough with some of the really 'dangerous' carriers out there such as AA DL UA BA QF LH    Compared to many of the aircraft currently flying with airlines in the RDC Korongo's fleet is actually quite young.



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User currently offlineTomskii From Belgium, joined May 2011, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4131 times:

Right, that's why Buffalo Airways for instance still flies the electra without any problems  . You can have a 2 year old plane crashing due to bad maintenance whilst an old plane that is well maintained is still waaaay more airworthy!

PS: Korongo will start ops on April 16th

Article in Dutch:

http://www.flightlevel.be/11245/korongo-airlines-van-start-op-16-april



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User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3830 times:

Korongo's flights are loaded into the systems and bookable:

1) FBM - FIH

ZC101: FBM: 07h30 - FIH: 08h50 - 1236 - 733
ZC107: FBM: 10h30 - FIH: 12h00 - 7 - 146
ZC105: FBM: 16h55 - FIH: 18h15 - 256 - 733

2) FIH - FBM

ZC102: FIH: 10h20 - FBM: 13h40 - 1236 - 733
ZC108: FIH: 12h45 - FBM: 16h15 - 7 - 146
ZC106: FIH: 19h45 - FBM: 23h05 - 256 - 733

3) FBM - JNB

ZC123: FIH: 07h30 - JNB: 09h45 - 4 - 733
ZC123: FIH: 15h10 - JNB: 17h30 - 7 - 733

4) JNB - FBM:

ZC124: JNB: 11h30 - FBM: 13h50 - 5 - 733
ZC124: JNB: 18h50 - FBM: 21h10 - 7 - 733


User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 28, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3811 times:
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Looking at the schedules I assume that maintenance for the 733 will be done in JNB ( arrives JNB 09:45 Thursday and doesn't leave until 11:30 the following day)


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User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 28):
Looking at the schedules I assume that maintenance for the 733 will be done in JNB ( arrives JNB 09:45 Thursday and doesn't leave until 11:30 the following day)

Well, it's quite strange since SN and GFI did build a brand new maintenance hangar in FBM to do their own maintenance on the ZC birds.

First I thought it was an error but the flights are effectively loaded like this...


User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 30, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3777 times:
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Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 29):
Well, it's quite strange since SN and GFI did build a brand new maintenance hangar in FBM to do their own maintenance on the ZC birds.

I forgot about that... but maybe it is not yet fully set up/staffed/certified? I also assume that they will announce more flights soon as I can't imagine a single weekly FBM-FIH return trip is going to fully occupy 2 146's !

edited to add:

I notice their website shows Kolwezi and Mbuji-Mayi as destinations ... come to think of it, I am sure that you mentioned a few weeks ago that they would be serving these points, didn't you.

[Edited 2012-03-20 01:24:15]

DOH! yes, you did... I should have re-read the thread before posting. Do you have any more hints for us on further developments?


[Edited 2012-03-20 01:25:19]


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User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3753 times:

Nope, nothing more yet. ZC's website was put online today and afaik the first flights were also loaded today (or yesterday). I think KWZ and MJM will be announced in a couple of weeks/months... I'll try to follow it and the moment I see something appear I'll post it  

I wonder if ZC will add an online booking feature to their website, having to call to book a ticket is so pre-2000 

I wonder if SN will put a codeshare on ZC's flights and ZC on SN's flights to BRU... On their website they announce connections with SN's flights in FIH but nothing more (at the moment).

EDIT: Hmm... It seems that the "ZC" code is recognized on this site as Royal Swazi National Airways which is an airline that is defunct since 1999???


User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 32, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3729 times:
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I see on Wikipedia ( no source quoted of course!) that Korongo are supposed to also be considering flights from Lubumbashi to Kigali, Bujumbura and Kampala ( presumably they mean Entebbe). I wish them well, there have been a few success stories in recent years in Africa and I hope they become another one.


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User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 33, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3723 times:
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Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 31):
I wonder if ZC will add an online booking feature to their website, having to call to book a ticket is so pre-2000

True, but I wonder if that is simply a realistic recognition of the market they are in. I don't mean to sound condescending but I suspect that online booking is not yet a big factor in the RDC market.



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineBralo20 From Belgium, joined May 2008, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3619 times:

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 28):
Looking at the schedules I assume that maintenance for the 733 will be done in JNB ( arrives JNB 09:45 Thursday and doesn't leave until 11:30 the following day)

Maintenance of the 733 is indeed outsourced at JNB (at the moment?), BAe146's in house at FBM and also the line maintenance of the 733.


User currently offlinePezySPU From Croatia, joined Dec 2011, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3451 times:

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 33):
True, but I wonder if that is simply a realistic recognition of the market they are in. I don't mean to sound condescending but I suspect that online booking is not yet a big factor in the RDC market.

Good point! I don't know about DRC in particular, but in some parts of Africa, most customers don't book their flights online.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4004 posts, RR: 2
Reply 36, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3365 times:
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Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 33):
True, but I wonder if that is simply a realistic recognition of the market they are in. I don't mean to sound condescending but I suspect that online booking is not yet a big factor in the RDC market.

All too true. A mobile web site and the ability to communicate with customers through SMS ought to be much higher the list of priorities than an online booking engine.



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