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Democratic Republic of Congo’s new airline, Congo Airways, will launch its inaugural flight on Aug. 24, 2015, a company source announced on Sunday in Kinshasa.

planeOn July 30, the company received its first aeroplane, an eight-year-old A320, acquired on credit of 50 million U.S. dollars from Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia.

Congo Airways which has signed a partnership agreement with Air France-KLM, will first start operating domestic flights before launching inter-state flights on the continent.

Congo Airways replaces the defunct Congo Airlines, a public owned company that collapsed in 2003.

By creating an airline, the Congolese government wants to contribute to the cleaning up of the country’s civil aviation sector which is dominated by airlines that are not authorized to fly within the European Union airspace.

DR Congo’s air transport sector has been characterised by frequent air crashes, with the most deadly crash occurring in 1996, involving An-32B aircraft, which left over 2,500 people dead in a Kinshasa market and the latest being the Hewa Bora aircraft crash at Kisangani airport in 2011, which left over 100 people dead. Enditem

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