* Ivory Coast national carrier to buy two new aircraft
* Plans to open domestic routes in second quarter of 2014
ABIDJAN Jan 10 Ivory Coast's national carrier
Air Cote d'Ivoire will borrow $114 million from Cairo-based
lender African Export-Import Bank to finance the purchase of two
new aircraft, the airline's chief executive said on Friday.
Air Cote d'Ivoire, established to replace defunct carrier
Air Ivoire, agreed late last year to buy two Q400 NextGen
aircraft from Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier Inc
with an option to purchase two additional planes.
"The cost of these two planes is $120 million. We approached
Afreximbank, which is in charge of financing and will pay 95
percent of this amount," said Rene Decurey, who added that Air
Cote d'Ivoire would pay the remaining 5 percent.
He declined to give further details of the financing
Speaking at a presentation in Ivory Coast's commercial
capital Abidjan, Decurey said the airline, which launched
services nearly a year ago, planned to open domestic routes in
the second quarter of 2014.
"These planes, which will be delivered in September and
October 2014, will allow us to service the domestic and regional
network," he said.
With a fleet including two Airbus A319s and an Embraer 170,
Air Cote d'Ivoire currently flies to 13 regional destinations.
The new domestic routes will include Bouake, Korhogo, and Ivory
Coast's second port city San Pedro.
Decurey said the company recorded turnover of 28 billion CFA
francs ($58.36 million) in its first year in operation.
"We're targeting 52 billion CFA francs in 2014," he said.
Air Cote d'Ivoire is 65 percent state owned, with Air France
holding 20 percent and private investors the remaining