Cabo Verde Airlines (VR, Sal Amilcar Cabral International) is looking to lease an additional aircraft to strengthen its domestic route network and fill the gap resulting from the suspension of TICV - Transportes Interilhas de Cabo Verde's air operator's certificate (AOC) and operating licence (OL) last week.

Insiders at the airline revealed to the archipelagic state's news agency Inforpress that Cabo Verde Airlines, often recognised by its former name TACV - Cabo Verde Airlines, had already intensified efforts recently to enhance connectivity to fill gaps in service resulting from TICV operator Bestfly Cabo Verde (3B, Praia) facing aircraft availability issues.

As ch-aviation previously reported, TICV's 70% shareholder BestFly World Wide last week pulled out of the market in protest against the local regulator withdrawing its permission for a wet-leased DHC-8-Q300 from CemAir (5Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo). It also accused the civil aviation authority (Agência de Aviação Civil - AAC) of creating a toxic and unhelpful environment for foreign investors.

The unnamed sources said Cabo Verde Airlines had recently introduced four more flights to São Filipe on the island of Fogo.

According to its website, Cabo Verde Airlines currently serves seven domestic destinations - Sal Amilcar Cabral International, Boa Vista Rabil International, Vila do Maio, Praia, São Filipe, São Nicolau, and São Vicente. International destinations served are Paris CDG, Lisbon, and Milan Bergamo.

The state-owned flag carrier's fleet comprises five aircraft, including one B737-8, D4-CCJ (msn 60432) owned by Boeing Capital and managed by Aergo Capital. The B737 MAX jet was initially ordered by now-defunct Comair (South Africa), according to ch-aviation fleets data. Cabo Verde Airlines is awaiting delivery of another of the type.

It's sole B737-700, D4-CCI (msn 34559), leased from TAAG Angola Airlines (DT, Luanda 4 De Fevereiro), is currently stored at Praia. The airline also wet-leases in three aircraft - one ATR72-500 from Global Aviation (Mauritania) and two ATR72-600s from Air Sénégal.