Cardiff Aviation and chairman Bruce Dickinson — lead singer for heavy metal band Iron Maiden — announced last week that the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Air Djibouti to create a national carrier for the African nation.
According to Rupert Denholm-Hall of Wales Online, Air Djibouti went through an extensive process trying to determine key markets for the nation’s carrier, how much the government will aid the operation, and what kind of support the military will provide for the Eastern African airline.
One of the biggest reasons for Cardiff Aviation’s interest in working with Air Djibouti is the nation’s proximity to the hottest markets in the world. Between all of the African nations around Djibouti and the close proximity of key destinations like London and Dubai, the partnership could be very fruitful.
As part of the deal, Cardiff Aviation will be in charge of implementing and managing a European-level Air Operator’s Certificate for Air Djibouti. The national carrier will also provide aircraft and operational management.
Dickinson told Wales Online about the working relationship between Cardiff Aviation and Air Djibouti, and how the partnership will help growth in the region:
“Djibouti is uniquely placed to provide a hub for investment from Europe, the Middle East and Asia into Africa. By providing full airline support and project implementation to Air Djibouti, Cardiff Aviation will bring a wealth of industry expertise and capability to one of the most exciting aviation markets in the world to spearhead growth in a region with tremendous potential.”
In addition to taking over much of the responsibility for the planes and the necessary clearances, Cardiff Aviation will also be contracted to support Air Djibouti by providing maintenance, repair, and operations for the carrier.
To start, the partnership will consist of mostly freight transportation, but Air Djibouti is looking to grow quickly and aims to offer passengers regular flights to key markets as soon as possible.
The government of Djibouti is looking to make major upgrades to its infrastructure. With plans to add four new seaports and two new airports, the current programs exceed $14 billion.