Government mulls a new carrier: Burundi Airlines
CH-Aviation discovered that the Government of the Republic of Burundi unveiled plans to launch a new national carrier in 2021 under the brand name Burundi Airlines.
A cabinet statement issued on 24 December said the new airline would be based on a merger between quasi-defunct state-owned Air Burundi and state-owned ground handler SOBUGEA.
The state will control 92% of Burundi Airlines while local insurer Société d’Assurances du Burundi (SOCABU) will have a 4% stake and the estate of defunct Belgian carrier Sabena will also own a 4% stake.
Air Burundi was established in April 1971 and started operations in 1975. The airline temporarily suspended operations in the spring of 2007, due to technical issues. In 2008, Air Burundi was relaunched with a much smaller network, providing daily flights to Kigali and Entebbe with a single Beechcraft 1900. In September 2009, an inability to secure adequate funding to overhaul its aircraft led to the airline’s suspension of operations. Despite the arrival of a Chinese MA60, operations have not resumed.