ABIDJAN, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s national carrier Air Cote d’Ivoire has picked Airbus to renew and expand its fleet after talks last month with the European planemaker and Canada’s Bombardier, the company’s chief executive said on Monday.
The company was launched last year and serves 19 destinations in West Africa with its fleet of four leased aircraft, including three Airbus A319s and an Embraer 170.
It will open domestic routes this month with two Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft ordered from Bombardier last year and forecasts between 100,000 and 120,000 passengers per year.
The company says it will have between seven and 10 planes by 2017 and aims to start renewing its fleet in 2015.
“Airbus has been retained. They are the manufacturer who will renew and expand our fleet,” CEO Rene Decurey told Reuters, adding that an Ebola epidemic this year centered on Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia had only a minimal business impact. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Tim Hepher and David Clarke)