The Senegalese government has officially announced the formation of Air Sénégal (HC, Dakar Blaise Diagne International) following the recent demise of Senegal Airlines (Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor International).

The West African country’s Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, Maimouna Ndoye Seck, said in a statement that the new carrier has been capitalized to the tune of XOF40 billion (USD69 million) with the objective to get it airborne as soon as possible. Talks are currently on to find a suitable strategic partner with Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul Airport) a front runner he added. Once said partner has been identified and signed on, the carrier's capital will be increased to XOF100 billion (USD172 million).

Seck said Air Senegal would play an integral part in government's plan to develop the country into a regional hub. Other key aspects include the opening of Dakar's new Blaise Diagne International Airport as well as the renovation of other local airports such as Cap Skirring, St. Louis Ousmane Masseck Ndiaye, and Ziguinchor. Alongside the airline, a ground-handling company as well as an MRO unit will also be established, he said.

The Senegalese civil aviation authority (Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie - ANACIM) revoked Senegal Airlines' AOC last week after inspections revealed the airline no longer complied with local aviation regulations. It also had accumulated debts of over XOF60 billion (USD104.2 million).

Founded in 2009, Senegal Airlines was government's second attempt at a national carrier following the collapse of Air Sénégal International (Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor International) earlier that year.