Air Sénégal (HC, Dakar Blaise Diagne International) has announced a new year-round service from September 2, 2021, between Dakar Blaise Diagne International and the United States as part of the strategic expansion of its intercontinental network.

The state airline, in a statement, announced it would operate two frequencies a week to New York JFK and onwards to Washington Dulles. The return service is routed Washington Dulles-New York JFK-Dakar (rather than being a triangular route).

While Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) flies between New York JFK and Dakar, this will make Air Sénégal the only African airline operating directly between the two countries.

Flights would be operated with 290-seat A330-900Ns in three-class configuration, including 32 seats in business class, 21 in premium economy, and 237 seats in economy class.

In its application for a US foreign air carrier permit in February 2021, Air Sénégal revealed it planned to operate the services under a wet-lease arrangement, referring to Hi Fly Malta (3L, Malta International) which operates the Senegalese carrier's A330-900, 9H-SZN (msn 1910), on its behalf under a CMI arrangement. Senegal doesn’t have a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 safety rating, meaning Senegalese-registered aircraft cannot operate flights to the US.

Flight schedules would facilitate connections domestically to Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring, as well as regionally to Banjul (Gambia), Conakry (Guinea), Praia (Cabo Verde), Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Bamako (Mali), Cotonou Cadjehoun (Benin), Douala (Cameroon), Libreville Leon M'Ba (Gabon), and Casablanca Mohamed V (Morocco). The airline also serves Paris CDG, Marseilles, Lyon St. Exupéry, Barcelona El Prat, and Milan Malpensa in Europe.

Making the announcement, Managing Director Ibrahima Kane said the new service was part of the strategic expansion of the carrier's intercontinental network. "In addition, the United States remains a high-priority market for our diaspora, which is well represented in the area. With this flight, Air Sénégal will make the USA even more accessible, and therefore better connectivity will strengthen the solid economic and socio-cultural ties between the USA and Senegal ”.

Air Sénégal’s fleet comprises eight aircraft, including two A319-100s, two A330-900s, two A321-200s; and two ATR72-600s, according to its application. The ch-aviation fleets module shows the A319-100s, and the A321-200s are leased from Carlyle Aviation Partners.

The carrier is owned 100% by Caisse des Depots et Consignation (CDC), an investment arm of the Senegalese government. The airline was formed at the end of 2016 as a successor to Senegal Airlines (Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor International), which ceased operating on April 12, 2016.